I just finished the last 2009 Caudill book that I brought home for the summer, Alabama Moon by Watt Key. I think this brings my total to eight of the books so far.
Moon is a ten-year-old who has been raised in a shelter in the middle of the forest by his survivalist, anti-government father. When his dad breaks his leg, refuses to leave the forest for medical attention, and then dies, Moon is left alone with his father's dying words that he should go to Alaska. He is taken to a boys home and has his first of many run-ins with the increasingly sadistic, vengeful Constable Sanders. He somehow manages an escape with all the boys in the boys home - this kid not only knows everything about surviving in the wilderness, he may be a long lost relative of McGyver (please excuse the 1980s TV reference). Ultimately, Moon connects with some other boys, Hal and Kit, and finds an unlikely ally in a wealthy lawyer. This was a strangely compelling book, but at times it also struck me as a bit out there. There was something really unsettling about Moon, like an absolutely wild child out of place in the modern world. I did learn somethings about natural living, and ultimately I wished Moon a life where he could find a family to care for him.
If you read Alabama Moon, leave a comment and let me know what you thought of the book.
"Alabama Moon Cover." Online image. LibraryThing. 15 Aug. 2008