In this second book in the Ginnie West Adventure Book, the kids are in the cafeteria at school. Pierce, the school bully, comes over to start a fight with Toran (Ginnie's brother). Ginnie steps in to defend her brother and both PIerce and Ginnie end up in the principal's office. Both kids are suspended from school for two days. Pierce swears veangance on Ginnie. Now he has it out for her AND her brother.
Readers don't really know for sure what happens at Pierce's house when he gets suspended, but the story eludes to the fact that it isn't pretty. Ginnie is busted by her father and gets his inspiration for punishment from Tom Sawyer. Ginnie spends her two days 'off' painting the 1/4 mile of fence on one side of the farm. To make things worse, her brother is angry with her for fighting his battle. (Who wants to be known as the boy whose little sister fights your battles)?
Suspension is over, and the twins go to the movies with their friend Tillie. Guess who is there? Pierce starts a fight at the movies and Ginnie comes to the rescue again! The kids decide not to tell their parents because they don't want to get in more trouble. This backfires. When the kids come home from a friend's house, guess who is at their house? Pierce and his dad are accusing Ginnie and Toran of beating up Pierce at the movie theater!
The kids go along with their plan to get revenge. They take a flaming pile of cow pies and light them on fire at Pierce's house. Ginnie will be the bell ringer. Instead she hears the television on loudly in the house. The window curtain is open a bit, and to her horror, Ginnie sees Pierce's dad kicking him. Pierce and his mother are both crying.
Now they have to tell the truth. The kids call 911 on the way home. When they get there, Ginnie's dad asks if there is something she should tell him. He didn't have anything in mind, just reminding her of the lesson she learned from the movie theater experience. She breaks down and tells him about Pierce's abuse.
The family goes to Pierce's home and see the police car in front with Pierce's dad in the back seat. Ginnie and Toran decide they want to help Pierce and befriend him. Of course, Pierce is hesitant to accept (It is typical in real life for victims to blame their rescuers of taking away someone they love). But, through determination and extreme humility they express what a friend really is. Will Ginnie and Toran and their friends be successful befriending Pierce? What happens to his family unit? Will redemption abound?
I loved the simplicity in this very complex storyline. Readers will experience a myriad of emotions. The characters will make you laugh out loud throughout the book. You will fear for Pierce and his mom. You will empathize with Tillie as she remembers the abuse suffered at the hand of her own father. The romance of The Secret Sisters Club (book 1) continues. I am looking forward to reading book 3. Recommended for ages 11-14 due to subject matter.
HoaP received a copy of Trouble Blows West: A Ginnie West Adventure in exchange for an honest review.