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Grounded Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7-When her father, older brother, and young sister died in a plane crash, Daralynn was at home, grounded for having been out fishing without her parents' permission. Her mother opens a beauty salon in their small Missouri town (population 402) and also prepares the hair of the deceased at the local funeral home. Clem Monroe suddenly appears on the scene, selling prepaid cremation plans to unsuspecting seniors and wooing Daralynn's Aunt Josie. She and many other residents are taken in by his schemes, giving him cash for a business that will never come to fruition. When Daralynn realizes that Clem is telling lies and acting suspiciously around town, she uses her journal to tell her father and siblings about the events, and the mystery is wrapped up in a unique way. The relationship between Daralynn and her mother, neither of whom has really dealt with her grief, is portrayed sensibly and tenderly. The fringe characters also shine; Clem is a slick con man, and Aunt Josie, free-spirited and kindhearted, understands Daralynn's prickly, hostile mother. The title of the book is serendipitous in many ways, and will leave readers with much to think about.-Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Dark humor melds with genuine pathos in Klise’s delightful and moving novel, set in Digginsville, Missouri, during the early 1970s. Twelve-year-old Daralynn Oakland is devastated when her father and siblings die in a plane crash. Angry and heartbroken, Daralynn’s mother gets a job as hairstylist at the local funeral parlor, while Daralynn comes up with the idea of a “living funeral,” where people can hear their own eulogy and have a chance to thank family and friends. The living funeral is a huge hit until Clem Monroe comes to town and starts a crematorium, undermining the funeral home’s business. Klise loves a mystery, which the charming yet sinister Clem provides in spades. She also uses letters, newspaper articles, and journal entries to excellent effect. However, it’s the journey through grief and the quirky characters (such as the senile grandma who takes to feeding and burping all of Daralynn’s dolls) that stay with the reader. This quiet story illuminates and celebrates the human need for connection beyond the grave. Grades 6-8. --Debbie Carton
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312570392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312570392
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,225,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

KATE KLISE is an author of many genres. She has written picture books, as well as middle-grade novels, all illustrated by her sister, Sarah. She has also written two young adult novels and is a freelance reporter for People magazine. Kate lives and writes in Norwood, Missouri. www.kateandsarahklise.com

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on December 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Daralynn Oakland and her mother did not know how to handle the grief that overcame them when Daralynn's father and two siblings died in a plane crash. Daralynn had narrowly missed being on that plane because her mother grounded her for going fishing without permission. So they each pushed the pain deep down inside and replaced it with numbness and anger. On top of the agonizing loss came financial difficulties as well, so mother took a job as a hair stylist at the local funeral parlor that had held the funeral of their loved ones.

Mother was good at styling, and requests from living townspeople to do their hair led her to buy the town's only beauty salon after the owner passed away. Because Mother barely let Daralynn out of her sight after the crash, Daralynn also spent a great deal of time there and was soon earning her own pot of money styling the hair of the junior clients. Their new means for making a living, however, soon faced a major threat when a slick stranger came to town and opened a crematorium. The competition could even put the funeral parlor out of business, which meant fewer dead people for mother to style and fewer living customers who wanted to look special on funeral days.

Little did Daralynn realize that her plan to fight back would set in motion a chain of events involving danger, intrigue, and love, thus making this novel an entertaining story about healing from profound loss. Thoroughly entwined throughout the book are a series of economics themes related to entrepreneurship, jobs, marketplace competition, and financial incentives. The book covers some big themes and does so in a touching and engaging way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Sandford on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ordinary People meets Steel Magnolias for the younger set in Kate Klise's quirky novel in which a poignant topic is dealt with humor and pathos. Daralynn was grounded (punished) the day her pilot father, older brother and young sister are killed in a plane crash. Her undemonstrative mother becomes the small town's hairstylist where a large part of her business is dressing the hair of the deceased, as well as those attending the funeral. A cheesy swindler comes to town to sell prepaid cremations, knocking out the funeral home business as well as putting a dent in the hair salon business. Daralynn comes up with the brilliant idea of having Living Funerals, where a life can be celebrated before death. There's a nasty little mystery involving the swindler, of course, and although dangerous, Darlynn exposes the vile plot. The book incorporates Klise's signature letters, newsprints and memos, and overall, gives a glimpse into the never-discussed-in-front-of-children what happens surrounding after a body dies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tommyknows on December 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a beautifully written book where a girl nick named "Dolly" loses her father,sister, and brother in a plane crash. Despite all the obvious grief and sadness Klise is able to incoporate lots of humor and fun. I recamend this to anybody who likes a heartwarming tale of tears, laughter, love, and a good mystery. THIS IS A GREAT BOOK.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Daralynn Oakland is only alive because she got in trouble and her mother grounded her. It's sad and ironic, but true. She went fishing alone, and when she was grounded, she missed out on the flight of her father's plane that killed her father, brother and sister. Now it's just her and her mother, plus her grandmother, Mamaw, next door. When people drop by after the funeral, they bring Daralynn a doll. She ends up with 237 of them, which leads the town of Digginsville, Missouri, to give her a new nickname: Dolly.

But Daralynn doesn't like dolls very much, and she certainly doesn't have time to play with 237 of them. Her mother has a new job doing hair at a beauty shop and at the funeral home, and when she's not working, she's moping around the house. Mamaw is going a little cuckoo. And even cool Aunt Josie is too busy with her business and her new boyfriend, Mr. Clem Monroe, to pay Daralynn too much attention. Without her siblings to keep her company, Daralynn really does feel all alone, but she doesn't want to let that stop her like it's stopped her mother. She will do anything not to alienate herself.

So Daralynn finds new things to pay attention to, and soon she's uncovering a town scandal, inventing trendy haircuts and coming up with plans to save the funeral home business. It's a busy summer, and in her free time from all those things, she still manages to start keeping a diary, which turns out to be quite handy not only because it helps her keep the memory of her family alive, but also because it serves as a town record even better than a newspaper. But will Digginsville notice that a little girl is doing all this great work, or will it be too hard for Daralynn to unearth a mystery, solve it, and bring it to everyone's attention before it's too late?
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Caliboots on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My 11-year-old son picked this up (even though it's about a girl) and read it in two days. I read it too and we discussed it, both practically speechless. This is a story about loss and hope and family, with a mystery-twist, too. Both of us, so moved. I will give this to kids and adults; it is such great storytelling without any fantasy or magic. Just real life. Which makes the best stories of all.
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