Jessie’s world may be poor, but she’s surrounded by rich characters like Baby Blue, who barely talks even though he’s four and Robert E. Ketchum who hasn’t decided what the E stands for yet. When President Johnson’s War on Poverty sends a Northerner to observe her community first-hand, people are too proud and suspicious to accept help. Everyone has secrets and it’s up to Jessie and her diamond-in-the-rough antics to enlighten the community.
The nicest part about this book is the honest exploration of poverty in all its ambiguity, without a moralistic highbrow tone. A great read with a unique perspective, Shutta Crum’s Spitting Image is one coming of age story to remember.