The Button Boat is a Depression-era tale …a sort of Bonnie and Clyde — an exhuberant story set in 1934 involving two poor, smelly kids, their drunken stepfather, bank robbers, a peace officer, a beer-swilling dog, and a clamming boat ‘so square at both ends that only the river knows whether it’s coming or going.’ ”
Some Notable Childrens’ Books, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, the New York Times
“… a brother and sister, whose world is the river where they fish for clams, for inedible clams their drunken stepfather sells (this story takes place in pre-plastic days) to make clothing buttons. The sister fishes, too, for words to teach her younger brother, to redeem the pledge she had made to their mother to take care of Auston. This is going to make a dandy movie, a dramatic, lusty movie for lucky children, that is if a director like Robert Radnitz gets his honest hands on it.” Publishers Weekly
“…. A story with a social conscience about depression in the deep south, it features two dirty, smelly, lovable children. A fun-filled story that will influence every reader.” Rand Daily Mail, South Africa
The Button Boat was optioned for a TV-Movie by the late TV producer, David Victor, and an adaptation was done by Emmy-winning writer John McGreevey. This juvenile novella is a Depression-era tale of action and suspense and kids’ scary fun that will remind the reader quite a bit of the famous 1955 thriller film, The Night of the Hunter, starring Robert Mitchum and Lillian Gish and directed by actor Charles Laughton, based on Davis Grubb’s novel.