Form and Content
From September to September, the seven chapters of Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe., divide the seasons and the year into a story of the growing relationship between two sixth-graders. Beth Lambert and the most handsome boy in school, Philip Hall, vie for leadership and academic excellence. Beth realizes early in the year that Philip wins because she lets him. It is her Pa who reminds her that she need not be the second-best arithmetic solver, the second-best speller, and the second-best reader at the J. T. Williams School. Beth’s crush on Philip gets her into trouble with her family, her friends, and herself.
Beth persuades her friends and herself that Philip will invite her and the other girls to his birthday party because she is Philip’s best friend. After completing her own chores at the farm, she helps Philip brush down the cows at his farm. Philip does not send her an invitation to his birthday party, however, because he is afraid of being called a sissy. Beth accuses Phil of being a “fraidy cat” because he avoids her. This nickname takes on a humorous twist because Philip, his friend Gordon, and other boys belong to the club known as the Tiger Hunters, who are not afraid of tigers; in rural Arkansas, not a single soul has ever seen a tiger. In like manner, Beth has her own club, known as the Pretty Pennies, who attempt to outrace the Tiger Hunters, while their most noble efforts are used to picket the Busy Bee store and its...
(The entire section is 473 words.)