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Sue Alderson.
Markham, ON: Overlea House, 1989.
144pp., paper, $4.95.
ISBN 0-7172-2584-4. cloth, $15.95. ISBN 0-7172-2583-6. CIP.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up

Reviewed by B. Henley-Hodgson.

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

Chapter One is written in the third person through the eyes of Beth, a grade 8 student. In her eyes, the world at the present is not a great place. How could anyone who has had her room taken over by a blind and confused Grandma be thrilled?

In many ways, Beth is a typical young adult. Her dad has "split" and is "living it up" in another city; she and her mother live together. Readers are offered a glimpse of her life at a particularly impressionable stage and are pleased and not surprised by the character development she has made by the end of the novel.

The novel is a superb one for many reasons, the first being the treatment of such themes as the elderly, peer pressure, parent / child relationships, and even, to a small extent, child abuse victims. Although this sounds like too much to pack into a short novel for teenage reading, it is not. Alderson offers just enough to pique interest and provide content for a solid basis for discussion.

I would highly recommend this novel. It is interesting and easy to read, as well as current in subject matter. Because of this, it will be a popular novel for its age group.

B. Henley-Hodgson, Brantford C.l. & V.S., Brantford, ON.
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