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Goobie, Beth
Don Mills (Ont.), Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1992. 83pp, paper, $5.95, ISBN 0-02-954093-3. (Series 2000). CIP.

Grades 7 to 9/Ages 12 to 14

Reviewed by Edith Parsons

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

In this fast-paced, well-told story, Sophie (alias Froggie) jokes about being snatched away by space aliens who will rescue her from her abusive father and neglectful mother.

Beth Goobie effectively portrays Sophie's confusion and fear as she confronts her father. Sophie has been beaten since she was a young child and she fears her father's reprisals and refuses to tell anyone. However, when Sophie is seriously injured, her friend Jujube calls an ambulance and tells Sophie's secret to a social worker. Jujube's revelation prompts Sophie's mother finally to deal with the family's crisis and to seek help for their problems.

Sophie's intense frustration, fear and guilt that she somehow forces her father to behave violently are effectively conveyed. At the same time, the close friendship between Sophie and Jujube is convincing. The story itself takes place in realistic Edmonton locations. Although the relationship with the social worker seems a bit contrived, the novel ends with an awareness that Sophie still has several problems to work out.

Group Homes from Outer Space is a worthy addition to a commendable series. This book is recommended for all libraries requiring high-interest, low-vocabulary materials.

Edith Parsons is Assistant Manager, Information Division, Edmonton Public Library, in Edmonton, Alberta

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