"Good-Bye, My Lady"

Good Bye My Lady

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Good-bye, My Lady

Author: James Street

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, reprinted in 1980

ISBN-10: 067142890X

ISBN-13: 9780671428907

Language level: 2 (one instance of taking the name of God in vain)

Reading level: Ages: 12 and up

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

     Street, James. Good-bye, My Lady (copyright 1941 by the Curtis Publishing Company and published by J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, PA). This is another youth fiction book that I picked up at a used book sale while visiting in Kentucky a few years ago. Skeeter (Claude) is a fourteen-year-old orphan who lives with his uncle Jesse Jackson in the swamps near Pascagoula, MS. The boy finds a strange dog (a rare Basenji which had somehow escaped into the swamp) and trains it. Ultimately, he learns about its having been lost and, after an initial hesitation, realizes that he must return the dog. Unlike the youth fiction books by Merrit P. Allen and K. M. Peyton that I purchased at the same time, this one does not have any cursing in it and almost no profanity. There are a few euphemisms, and in one instance the local storekeeper, "Cash" Evans, is said to have taken the name of his God (as an exclamation).

     There are some swamp superstitions, like belief in evil spells and "praying for the magic of the mellowbug," and a few references to tobacco use. A couple of times someone is said to have lied, and Skeeter knows that Uncle Jesse sometimes did "strange things with the truth." However, in the end, honesty triumphs over desire, and Skeeter does a good deal of growing up in the process. Street apparently wrote a lot of novels for young people (the jacket lists Look Away!; Oh, Promised Land; In My Father’s House; The Biscuit Eater; Tap Roots; By Valour and Arms; The Gauntlet; Tomorrow We Reap; Mingo Dabney; The High Calling; The Velvet Doublet; The Civil War; Captain Little Ax; Pride of Possession; and a book of Short Stores), but none of them seem to be in print now. Good-Bye, My Lady was reprinted as a paperback in November of 1980 by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, but new copies are not available.

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One Response to "Good-Bye, My Lady"

  1. Good-bye, My Lady is a 1956 American film adaptation of the novel Good-bye, My Lady (1954) by James H. Street. The book had been inspired by Street’s original 1941 story which appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. Street was going to be the principal advisor on the film when he suddenly died of a heart attack. A boy learns what it means to be a man by befriending and training a stray Basenji dog and then is forced to surrender her to its rightful owner. Both readers of the story and film-goers found the boy’s eventual loss of the dog unexpected. Directed by William A. Wellman, the film starred Walter Brennan and Brandon deWilde, with Sidney Poitier and Phil Harris in supporting roles. Brennan and Harris previously co-starred in 1951’s The Wild Blue Yonder, and Brennan and deWilde would reunite for the cameras in 1965 for Disney in Those Calloways. That same year, deWilde would play producer John Wayne’s son in In Harm’s Way. The film was produced by John Wayne’s Batjac Productions.

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