- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 860 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544602277
- ISBN-13: 978-0544602274
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,346,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #608 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Moving
- #1004 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Difficult Discussions > Death & Dying
- #1085 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Special Needs
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Far from Fair Hardcover – March 8, 2016
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"A tearjerker with a brain, this could prompt discussion not only of the right to die issue but also power and fairness."
* "Arnold’s descriptive prose and short, episodic chapters warmly relay the family’s struggles. It’s an engaging, emotional ride as Odette learns the truth of one of her grandmother’s sayings: 'Even in the bad... there is opportunity for good.'"
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"An affecting, delicately handled story of growing up."
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About the Author
Top customer reviews
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Far from Fair is a good book that has a lot going on. Sometimes I couldn't help but think - Oh my something else... There's so many things going on in this child's life - and sadly, it's that way for children everywhere, from all walks of life. The difficulties begin when Odette is told the family (including her brother Rex and his ferret and the new dog, Georgie) will be packing what's left over from the moving sale, into the RV, which they call "The Coach" and moving from California to Washington to help care for Grandma Sissy. Odette is devastated she has to leave her best friend Meiko and even more upset that her cell phone has been disconnected. The family of four will share a single cell phone. Odette is shocked, scared, angry, lonely, frustrated, and emotionally overloaded. It is within this tornado of emotions Grandma Sissy's favorite sayings begin to ring true.
There are truly moving moments throughout the story. Some are small and seem insignificant at the time - but, upon reflection those are moments of real growth and understanding. For example, one of the scenes that really touched me was when Odette went to take a bath, her Grandmother had reminded her to use the purple bath salts because they smell like violets. She goes in, starts the water in the old fashioned, claw foot bath tub, with the separate faucets and turns to the cabinet. It too is old fashioned, three shelves and very organized. She discovers that one shelf contains prescriptions....Odette had just been told that Grandma Sissy had been given a prescription from her doctor - that when the pain from her cancer became too much, she could take those pills and die. Odette thought about taking all the pills and flushing them down the toilet. Then thought better of it. But, she began to process what all this really meant. She remembered a friend's cat, hit by a car, the vet said it would never walk again and would suffer tremendously....so, because they didn't want the cat to suffer, they "put it to sleep." But then she thinks, Grandma is a Mom, Friend, baker, and Grandma - she's not a cat...
You see her mind processing this information and bringing it to life within her own family - slowly, using examples of things she's already seen, done and felt. The journey of her understanding and accepting all the things she felt were so unfair is powerful. When you see her change the number one thing on her list to "Cancer," you know it's not just the list that has changed....Odette has changed.
It's a lovely journey that I enjoyed taking. It's one of those stories that you think about long after the book has been returned to the shelf. It leaves an impression on your heart.
If you get a change to read Far from Fair, do so - you'll enjoy the journey.
While I certainly can't fault the writing in this novel, or the deft way the author handles such tough topics, I did have a hard time connecting with the main character. I really didn't like her very much, and although she experienced growth throughout this novel, I still didn't like her very much when the story ended. By that time, she had experienced grief, the first stirrings of adolescent crush, and even learned to confront her feelings of powerlessness. Still not a very likable kid. I squeaked this up into a four star rating in the hope that young readers will feel a bit more kindly toward young Odette. She learns some tough lessons in this story.
Far from Fair is a strong novel filled with tough topics. Older elementary students and middle school readers will be best served by this story. Younger readers might find some of these issues a bit too tough to deal with. Everybody has to learn that life isn't fair, it's just sad when kids learn it at a young age. A tough read and a cautious recommend.
Most recent customer reviews
By: Elana K. Arnold
Life isn’t always fair and Odette thinks this is especially true for her when her family packs everything including her brother, his...Read more