written by

Kristine L. Franklin

book info


ISBN 978-0763623623


Candlewick, 2003

ISBN 978-0763613259

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You'll enjoy reading ...

It’s 1925 in multiethnic Roslyn, Washington, and twelve-year-old Slava has earned the nickname "Cuss" because he can swear in fourteen languages. In fact, Cuss loves languages. Unlike his older brothers, who left school after sixth grade to work in the coal mines, he likes reading as much as he likes goofing aroundor planning the great grape heist of Roslyn. But when bootleggers stir up trouble and force his big brothers to skip town, Cuss feels the weight of family responsibility. How can he hold on to his dream to stay in schooland still do the honorable thing by his ma and little brother?

Award: Jefferson Cup Award for Best Historical Fiction 2004; Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List Selection

Reviewers have said ...

"Cuss' fast, first-person narrative rings true: clear about prejudice and violence, funny about his pals, and also anguished about family sorrow, sacrifice, and love." Hazel Rochman, Booklist

This book was originally entitled Grape Thief in hardcover.

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