From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-Georgie Collins has just moved to a small town in Indiana with her mother, who is running a home day-care business while her father is serving in Vietnam. She starts seventh grade with a deliberate act of vandalism in the guidance counselor's office, which typifies her impulsive and defiant behavior. Her adjustment to her new school includes a friendship with patient, good-natured Lisa, and they pair up on a Good Deeds project by visiting an old-age home. But the war in Vietnam permeates this story, from angry confrontations in Georgie's social-studies classroom to a family secret that Lisa is afraid to reveal. Throughout, Woodworth stresses the divisiveness of a society in turmoil, an issue with resonance for today's readers. She also focuses on Georgie's anger; astute readers will realize before long that there may be more behind her father's absence than she's ready to face. A heartfelt novel, this is clearly both a character study and a pointed portrait of a time and a place. There is more emphasis on plot than writing style, and Georgie's transition in the last few chapters seems a bit abrupt. Still, larger collections will want to consider adding the book to their shelves.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 5-8. With her father in the U.S. Air Force, Georgie is used to moving. Now in seventh grade, she is stuck in Glendale, Indiana, and he is stationed in Vietnam. Like her father, Georgie is a good soldier; she knows how to survive in a new school, even one full of students who think what her father is doing is wrong, even when her only friend betrays her, and even when she is forced to visit a nursing home as part of the school's do-good program. However, Georgie's iron defense begins to fail as she starts to realize that the war she is so proud of her father for fighting has taken him away. The real story here is Georgie's refusal to admit her father's death, which readers discover happened long ago in a well-played reveal, and her desperate attempts to hold onto him any way she can. Beneath her whip-smart comments and spiteful behavior, Georgie is terribly fragile, and her gradual acceptance of her loss is handled with care. Woodworth's poignant novel will bring real tears to readers' eyes. Krista HutleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved