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The Tower Room: A Jean Karl Book Library Binding – September, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Library Binding: 137 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum (September 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689318561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689318566
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,348,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After 10-year-old Mary Brooke's feckless mother dies, sometime in the 1950s, Aunt Olive, a sensible schoolteacher, brings her to live in the family home--which looks surprisingly like a castle. Mary Brooke is sure that her father will come for her, even though she has never met him. In the meantime, there are new clothes, a new teacher and even a mysterious tower room. Aunt Olive explains that the room has been blocked off, but Mary Brooke finds an entrance and takes secret refuge there. One day a classmate spitefully informs Mary Brooke that an illegal abortion was the cause of her mother's death, and Mary Brooke is so upset that she runs away to her hideout--until she learns that Aunt Olive really does care about her. All the secrets are revealed: Mary Brooke's father is unknown, Mary Brooke's handsome teacher has loved Aunt Olive all along, and the tower room was sealed because Aunt Olive's father had a fatal accident while descending its stairs. Aside from a few fresh and honest moments, such as the discussion of abortion, this small story reads like a faded version of better-told orphan tales, especially The Secret Garden , to which a few references are inevitably made. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-In this novel set in 1953, Mary Brooke goes to live with her aunt in a small Michigan town after the death of her mother. Mary Brooke is intrigued by the house's closed-off turret and finds a forgotten doorway to the tower room, which becomes her refuge. She dreams of the day her father, whom she has never known, will come to take her away. She feels lonely around her aunt, who seems critical of her and her mother. When a spiteful classmate announces that Mary Brooke's mother had an abortion and died as punishment for killing her baby, Mary Brooke locks herself in the tower room. After spending a cold night, she emerges and reconciles with Aunt Olive, who has magically changed from stern and proper to kind and caring. In spite of some mature themes, the characterization and writing style are for preadolescent readers. An air of mystery is introduced with the secret room and the absentee father. However, readers will be disappointed when those things turn out to be inconsequential and go no where. Even though everything is neatly resolved in the end, the overall effect is less than believeable, and ultimately unsatisfying.
Marilyn Long Graham, Lee County Library System, Fort Myers, FL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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