From Publishers Weekly
This National Book Award finalist, set in 1950s Wisconsin, centers on an 11-year-old girl's coming of age. PW called her transformation "less dramatic than a butterfly's metamorphosis, but just about as impressive." Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6AWhen her best friend, Lyle Leveridge, moves away, Amanda is convinced that she will never be happy again. Growing up during the 1950s in rural Wisconsin, she feels isolated and lonely. Her older sister Margaret is far too pretty and smart to be an ally, her mother holds herself aloof from the community, and her father is distant. Gradually, Amanda's luck changes-she makes a new friend, gains a French pen pal, does better at school, and forges a closer bond with her father. Despite some lovely moments, the slow-moving plot and lack of drama in Amanda's situation will discourage most readers. The writing sometimes sparkles but mostly drags. Many of the events strain credibility (the pen pal comes to visit despite Amanda's explicit plea not to; her father suddenly finds courage to disagree with his snobbish and controlling wife). Also, the cultural references (Pat Boone, Patti Page, Come Back, Little Sheba) will be meaningless to most young people. Cameron has written many excellent books for children, but this one has neither the voice nor the verve needed to succeed.ACyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.