CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006
And in addition to her school woes, Vivian soon has other things to worry about. For one, she overhears her parents arguing and thinks that they are planning a divorce. When she then finds a woman's name and phone number lying about the house, she assumes that her father is having an affair and figures that she ought to take matters into her own hands.
Meanwhile, there is also the problem of the beautiful white diary in the window of Waverly Gifts. More than anything, Vivian wants that diary, but she can't see any way of acquiring the money she needs to get it until she finds a gold pen amongst all her grandfather's clutter and sells it to a classmate. Only after she has sold the pen and purchased the diary does she discover how much that very pen meant to her grandfather. At that point, she realizes that she must do everything she can to get it back and make things right.
Young readers will sympathize with Vivian who is a likeable, albeit oftentimes misguided, character. They will be amused by her spirited antics and her indisputable knack for finding trouble despite her best efforts. Her unique relationship with her grandfather is skillfully depicted - it is wonderful to read about a young girl who spends cherished time with her grandfather learning various home repair skills and playing chess! Of course, grandfather's hurt and disappointment in Vivian when she finally confesses to taking the pen are fully believable. Her rocky relationship with Deena and Shelly, two girls from her class, is less convincingly portrayed and wasn't vital to the overall story. For adults reading the book, the dialogue between the various characters is often suggestive of the 1950's time period in which the book takes place. On the other hand, children may just think that the language is a little unnatural sounding. Nevertheless, it is a book which should entertain young readers who happen upon it.
Lisa Doucet is a children's bookseller at Woozles in Halifax, NS.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.