Chapter Books – Dovey Coe

Dovey Coe is twelve. She lives in the mountains during the Depression. Oh, and she’s also on trial for murder. The book begins with Dovey’s denial of having killed Parnell, the man who was recently courting her sister Caroline, but who was left alone – in very humiliating circumstances – when Caroline decided to go to teachers’ school. Unfortunately, Dovey isn’t the type to ever sit quietly by, or to hold opinions to herself. Therefore the entire town knows quite well that she hated Parnell and “would sooner shoot him than look at him.” Of course, she hadn’t really meant that, but what’s said is said.

Dovey is a vivacious character, filled with life and personality. Her murder trial is marked just as much by her anger at the lies of a witness as it is by her anxiety that she will be found guilty. She knows she didn’t do it, now she just has to find a way to prove it. Also well done is her relationship with her deaf brother Amos. Even though he’s slightly older, she’s felt that she needs to take care of him and protect him from villagers who don’t understand him. That changes over the course of the story, as she realizes that Amos is more than capable of helping himself.

The language of the book is intended to reflect the speaking patterns of a young girl in the mountains of the 1930’s. As such the grammar is idiosyncratic, and Dovey sometimes uses unique expressions. Some children will enjoy the immersion into another time and place, while others will be annoyed at the “incorrect” language. For those who fall somewhere in between, the rhythm of the language is quickly picked up and becomes simply another part of the character.

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4 thoughts on “Chapter Books – Dovey Coe

  1. My teacher is reading Dovey Coe to us in class and it is the best book I think i’ve ever read!!!!I think we’re on chapter 13 or 14?!?!?! IDK but everyone at first was in love with Parnell but now everyone hates him!!!!LoL!!! I recommend Dovey Coe for all 8th grade students….

  2. This is one of the best books I have ever read!!! Dovey Coe is an inspiring story for me. I recommend Dovey Coe to all Mature audiences……

  3. My teacher Mrs. Fine is making us do an author project, were we pick an award winning author and read 2 novels and a short story. We are supposed to be making notes while we read and make outlines, presentation summary’s, and other stuff. I picked ” Frances O’Roark Dowell ” I am supposed to read ” Dovey Coe,” “Secret Language of Girls, ” and a short story i still do not know, but i hate reading so i am just getting info, of of the internet, and yes. So wish me good luck, i am way behind, they expect me to read a novel, Dovey Coe, in like 3-4 days can’t even read that fast!!! although i am in the highest reading class 😉

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