"Four Miles to Pinecone" by Jon Hassler

Essay by samjor0Middle School, 6th gradeA+, April 2006

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In October and November I read a book called "Four Miles to Pinecone". I think it's a good book and I have to write an essay about it. In this essay I am going to tell you about the conflicts that the main character, Tom Barry, encountered and how he handled them.

First, I am going to talk about friendship and a conflict involving friendship in this book. Tom and Mouse were best friends. They went to Donnelly High School and lived in St. Paul. One day, while Tom was working at the grocery store, two men came in and robbed the grocer, Mr. Kerr, while he was working. Tom heard the two thieves and noticed one of the two voices. The voice was Mouse's. Tom didn't know what to do, he could turn Mouse in, but then Mouse would probably hate him for life. On the other hand, Tom could tell no one, but he would have to live with the guilt.

Tom later in the book goes to the sheriff and tells on Mouse.

Then there was a conflict involving trust. When Tom went to Leaf Lake to visit his aunt and uncle he met his uncle's old friend Lester Flett. Tom went fishing with Lester the next day. Tom had grown to trust Lester as they bonded on the boat. Later that evening, Tom heard a clatter down at the dock. He went to investigate. Tom ran to the dock he saw someone stealing the motor. After the thief left with the motor, Tom ran to Lester's cabin to see if he and Lester could stop the thief. When Tom got to Lester's cabin he saw that Lester was the thief. Tom was shocked to see Lester had ten stolen motors. Lester had broken the trust between him and Tom. Tom then stole Lester's assistant's van and drove it four miles to Pinecone and told the sheriff. The police caught Lester's assistant, Bruno Rock, but they didn't catch Lester.

There are many families in this book, but they aren't all blood relatives. For example, Mouse's family. They had many problems; the problems were all around money. Mouse's Dad didn't have a job, and neither did his Mom. So then Mouse started his job as a thief to pay for food, clothes, etc. Later Mouse's Dad tried to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge and into the Mississippi River, but failed so he was sent to a rehabilitation center.

A lot of people Tom knows believe in working hard. For example, Tom works hard at his job for Mr. Kerr, and that is why he is his right-hand man. Tom is also worked hard when he wrote his story for Mr. Singleton for nine straight days so he wouldn't fail his English class. Tom's Dad also cares about hard work, because he said, "Do you think I could make a living at the factory if I understood my work but never actually did it? Just stood around all day understanding it?" When Tom tried to say that assignments had nothing to do with English class and that they were stupid.

The conflicts in "Four Miles To Pinecone" bring the characters to life.