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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 725 Response:
Bewildering Stories discusses

Cricket on the Road

God Has One, Too,” part 2, appears in issue 725.

From Challenge 725:

  1. Does Cricket know first-hand that Aunt Lucy and Uncle Sulo plan to get rid of Smidge? Does she know why they plan to?
  2. What are Cricket’s aunt and uncle doing while Cricket is on the run? Does Cricket expect anyone to come searching for her?
  3. For what audience does the story seem to be intended? What lessons might a teenage reader take from it if she wants to run away from home?

[Review Editor #1] I assume this is intended for the young-adult market. Teen-age girl runs away from home to save her dog. The aunt and uncle must be awfully poor if they have to kill a dog to economize. In the real world, chances are this girl wouldn’t get too far before she became a victim of some predator in one form or another.

[Review Editor #2] There are too many screwballs driving along just watching for a female adolescent on foot.

[Managing Editor] “God Has One, Too” is a very “interior” story with an exterior setting. Cricket talks only to Mr. Powers, and she leaps to a possibly false conclusion: she has no idea whether Mr. Powers is telling the truth; he might have misunderstood something he overheard. She promptly stiffs her aunt and uncle without even leaving a note.

Cricket makes plans very carefully and methodically. Her foresight clashes with her unaccountably impulsive flight. Readers may well wonder what Cricket’s backstory and motivation are.

On the road, Cricket is a case of reverse invisibility. She and Smidge are all there is until she meets Aunt Vera. On the way, Cricket doesn’t even see anybody else; she only overhears the people at the church. No cops are out looking for her, and nobody passes by on the road. Are Cricket and Smidge hiking through a rural wilderness? Whatever, the world of other people all but vanishes as far as she’s concerned.

What can a potential teenage runaway take from this story? Our Review Editors are right: the lessons are dangerous ones.

date Copyright August 14, 2017 by Bewildering Stories

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