The Return to Bitter Creek

Author: Doris Buchanan Smith
Reading Level: ages 9-12
Number of Pages: 192

Twelve-year-old Lacey Bittner's return to her family home in the Appalachians of North Carolina is filled with uncertainties. She and her mother, Campbell, who was young and unwed, had left ten years earlier. Now they are returning with David, Campbell's boyfriend, to begin a new life. Campbell will make leather items, and David will teach blacksmithing at a local school. Lacey is caught in the middle, wanting to be accepted by the extended family of grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles and yet protective of her independence and her mother's ambivalent feelings.