Little Girl Gone
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Madora was seventeen, headed for trouble with drugs and men, when Willis rescued her. Fearful of the world and alienated from family and friends, she ran away with him and for five years they have lived alone, in near isolation. But after Willis kidnaps a pregnant teenager and imprisons her in a trailer behind the house, Madora is torn between her love for him and her sense of right and wrong. When a pit bull puppy named Foo brings into Madora's world another unexpected person--Django Jones, a brilliant but troubled twelve-year-old boy--she's forced to face the truth of what her life has become.
An intensely emotional and provocative story, Little Girl Gone explores the secret hopes and fears that drive good people to do dangerous things . . . and the courage it takes to make things right.
nothing had happened, though, not wanting to give Billy and his mutant friends the satisfaction of upsetting him. He smelled chocolate pudding. Mrs. Costello announced a spelling bee and divided the class into ones and twos. The ones stood up by the blackboard and the twos were down at the other end of the room. Django was a two and had to walk past everyone. He knew what he must look like from the back with gluey, gummy brown pudding on the seat of his pants. He tried to act like it didn’t
Although Madora opened all the windows to lure the slightest breeze, at the dead end of Evers Canyon the trapped air did not move much. Dust settled on every surface and clung to the curtains’ coarse weave. It powdered Madora’s skin, got in her eyes and hair and ears; her nose was so dry it sometimes bled. June meant that July was on its way and right behind it August and September, the hottest months of the year. Fire season. The pit bull Madora had found as a puppy pushed against her leg,
prob’ly shoot our heads off.” She could tell a tall tale as convincingly as Django. “A trailer like that one?” Django nodded his head toward the backyard. “Dummy. A mobile home.” “Does somebody live in your trailer?” “Why would anyone live in that old thing?” The pulse beating at the corner of Madora’s eyelid felt as obvious as an earthquake, and she put her hand up to cover it. “There aren’t any windows.” “Where’s that whirring sound come from? Like an air conditioner?” It was true. Even
about forty years old I have to take some test, the MCAT.” “That’s the name?” “It’ll say if I’m”—he made quotes with his fingers—“med school material.” “Did you tell her you were a Marine medic? And about being a home health care provider?” “They don’t care about any of that.” “But it’s not fair. You’ll be a wonderful doctor. You should get letters from your clients. Like references.” “Shut up, Madora, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” He could say all the awful things he wanted.
a hammer. No lucky girl ever had a father who walked into the desert and put a bullet in his brain. Yuma, Arizona: the town is laid out like a grid on the desert flats. Single-story buildings, fast-food joints on every corner, dust and heat and wind, lots of military, and a pretty good baseball team. That’s about it. Madora’s mother, Rachel, said Yuma killed her husband, said it was killing her too. To save herself she turned on the television, stepped into other people’s stories, and got lost.