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What Happened On Planet Kid Hardcover – April, 2000
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-Dawn, 12, is spending the summer of 1958 on Aunt Van and Uncle Moody's farm while her mother undergoes a serious operation back home in Washington, DC. Dawn practices her pitching every morning against the barn wall, emulating her hero, Senator's pitcher Camilo Pascual; she pretends to practice the piano everyday while really teaching her new friend Delbert how to play. Delbert, an African-American youngster who is also spending the summer with relatives, stutters and changes his name weekly to that of his latest hero. Dawn spends most of her time with Charlotte, who comes from a poor family and is surrounded by rowdy brothers. Dawn develops a crush on one of the brothers and slowly realizes that there are serious problems when she sees repeated evidence of the fact that Charlotte's father brutally beats his wife and children. The tension of wondering what will happen to this family keeps the story moving as does Conly's skillful, lyrical writing. Issues of abuse, religion, and racial prejudice are addressed, but not confronted, by likable, well-developed characters. Dawn's voice is consistent and believable, and the setting is distant enough for comfort and safety. Perhaps too many issues arise during Dawn's summer away from home, but Conly manages to pull the story off by caring for her characters and knowing the crises of children's middle years.
Judith Everitt, Orchard Hill Elementary School, Skillman, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Twelve-year-old Dawn has every intention of being the first female pitcher in the major leagues, and she practices every day during the summer she spends on a farm with her Aunt Van and Uncle Moody. She practices her piano, too, and the rhythms of both keep her from missing her family too much; her father is away helping her artist mother learn to walk again after an operation. Dawn's secure affection for her family is reflected in the sweetness with which she handles Charlotte, a neighbor with a smart mouth and a lot of troubles, and Delbert, a shy younger boy. Charlotte and Dawn invent Planet Kid, where they imagine and dream. Dawn doesn't quite get Charlotte's fire-and-brimstone father, and she sees clearly what others have missed--Charlotte, her mother, and her brothers have bruises to hide. The power of the story, however, lies in its evocation of languorous summer as the backdrop for these kids' discovery of different truths and pain. GraceAnne A. DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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