From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Vicki's life is turned upside down when her father loses his job, becomes despondent, and eventually leaves the family. She reveals her innermost thoughts through poems and journal entries that tell the story of change–a new neighborhood, new school, new friends, and a once-secure life that is becoming more and more uncertain. Readers are drawn into the girl's struggle to right her impulsive decision to steal money, and they will identify with the anguish Vicki faces each day, trying to be normal and hiding the facts of her home life and changed financial situation. The format and the contemporary setting make this an appealing story for both strong and reluctant readers. Those who enjoyed Sonya Sones's What My Mother Doesn't Know
(2001) and Margaret Peterson Haddix's Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey
(1996, both S & S) will be taken with the novel's free-flowing style and revelations.–Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
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Gr. 5-8. Composed in a variety of poetic and narrative verse forms, this describes a middle-school girl's reaction to her family's financial fall. Vicki Marnet's father, laid off almost two years ago, is profoundly depressed. Crippling debt forces the family to sell their home and move from an upper-middle-class suburb to a cramped apartment in the city. While Vicki's mother and older brothers try to make the best of it, Vicki struggles to master the dramatic changes in her life. Although a venturesome work and certainly readable, form tends to trump function here: the verse upstages the story in parts and contributes to Vicki's voice sounding alternately babyish and sage. The book's blurb highlights a "terrible" thing she's done to cope with her difficulties; however, this action proves anticlimactic. The significant decline in circumstance that Vicki experiences with her family is the real heart of the story, and that is what will touch readers, especially those who have lived through that particular agony themselves. Holly KoellingCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved