In his novel Up Country, Alden R. Carter writes about how hard life is for children
in the adolescent era by portraying the actions off Carl Staggers, a teenager surviving his
mothers alcoholism and his car radio thief ring gone to disarray.Carl is a tragic hero who
rambles through this time period by trying to make things right.He is also accompanied
by characters close to him as the novel progresses.
Carl is a young man with great hopes and dreams to become an electrical engineer.
The problem is that he and his mother are deeply in debt, and Veronica Staggers, Carl's
mother, is an alcoholic who is brought home by the cops almost every week.Carl has the
bright idea to use an opportunity that arose to earn money to go to a good technical college
and earn a degree in electrical engineering.In this little opportunity, Carl repairs stolen
stereos that he receives from his partner in crime, changes the serial number, and places
the stereo into a company box for resale.Although this seems like the perfect crime,
something goes terribly wrong with his admirable plan and Carl gets busted for the radios
along with all of the other juveniles helping him.Ironically he was busted for the car audio
equipment because of his mother who was thrown in a detox center for her alcohol abuse.
Therefore, Carl was sent "up country" to stay with his aunt, uncle, and cousin whom he
hasn't seen for a little over eight years.That's when all of the trouble starts, including a
run in with the local redneck bully and his girlfriend.On a good note while staying with
his secondary family, he meets a wonderful country girl with whom he ultimately stays with
instead of going back to live with his mother, who cleans her self up and moves on with her
life.Carl is sentenced to public work and is basically let off easy on the condition that he
stay in school and earn that el…