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Sandy Frances Duncan

Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1990. 261pp, paper, $4.95
ISBN 1-55074-012-1. CIP

Grades 5 to 7/Ages 10 to 12
Reviewed by Patricia Cooper.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

Listen to Me, Grace Kelly is Sandy Frances Duncan's fourth novel for children. As in Kap-Sung Ferris, which won the Canadian Children Choice award in 1981, Duncan is again con­cerned with the themes of young people searching for their identity and for their place in the family and in society, and learning to communicate with one another and with adults.

It's the summer of 1955 and twelve-year-old Jessica is spending the holidays at a Muskoka cottage with Agatha Adams, an elderly friend of the family. Lonely, she talks to her imaginary confidante, the famous and beautiful Grace Kelly. Jessica also fantasizes about her father, who died when she was eight. Her real memories of him are confused, but over the summer she starts to remember some painful events from the past.

Young readers will enjoy this well-written and well-paced story laced with humour. They will identify with Jessica's active imagination and embar­rassing moments. They will find life in the 1950s interestingly different. At times, however, the language seems of very recent vintage. Character develop­ment is excellent. Agatha is no stere­otype: she comes across as a real, complex person as the relationship between her and Jessica develops.


Patricia Cooper, Chinguacousy Resource Branch, Brampton, Ont.
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