Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
It is the summer of 1965, and JT is scheming ways to increase his measly allowance of $1.25. His sister, Lesi, is a year older and gets $2.00 a week. How is a man supposed to survive with only a $1.25 to his name?
After several of his "get-rich-quick" schemes fail, JT is pleasantly surprised when, out of the blue one afternoon, their father hands him an envelope. His father tells JT that it is for he and Lesi because he loves them. Inside the envelope are two crisp five dollar bills.
Those five dollar bills take on a whole new meaning when, one week later, their father is gone.
Since their mother has done nothing but drink herself into a stupor for years, Lesi decides it is time to call Aunt Lily. When she arrives, everything changes. Soon JT and Lesi find themselves traveling with Aunt Lily to Tupelo on an adventure. Unfortunately, when the adventure is over, they return home to discover their mother has died of alcohol poisoning.
Funeral arrangements are made, and there is some discussion of moving JT and Lesi to live with their grandmother; however, it is clear that the children are closer to Aunt Lily, and she agrees to move the short distance from her home to live with them. Life is good until one night while Aunt Lily is at work, a man breaks in and brutally attacks Lesi. Nearly fourteen-year-old JT finds himself acting as the man of the family as he saves his sister from certain death.
FEAR OF SPIDERS is a detailed account of JT and Lesi's journey from innocent children to world-weary survivors. John E. Cother tells their story with elaborate description and rich dialogue, giving readers a generous view into the lives of two brave young people.