CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 11 . . . . January 31, 2003
Getting a Life.
Toronto, ON: Sumach Press, 2002.
223 pp., pbk., $9.95.
9-12 /Ages 14-17.
Review by Jennifer L. Branch.
I don't really
know what to do about the party. I don't want to see Zach. But I
feel I should go for Ms. Francella's sake. She's always been so
nice to me.
In the end though
I decided to go for a different reason. When I get to Dawn's, Skye
says right away,“Carly, I am hungry.” No wonder. There
isn't anything to eat in the fridge or in the cupboards. Not even
a slice of bread.
guys have lunch?”
Skye points to
an empty cereal box on the counter.
you didn't go to school again?”
us, but we forgot our lunchboxes so we came home,” Amber says.
“To get something to eat. But we only had cereal.”
“Can we go
to the store?” Skye asks.
leaves money for groceries, but the sugar bowl is empty today. I'm
so mad I don't know what to say or do.
get something from your house?” Amber asks. I've done this
lots of times, sneaking over stuff like bread and cheese and fruit.
Muriel knows, I'm sure. How could she not have noticed? But I figure
it's okay because she hasn't said anything. Still, I am already
babysitting for free. It's not up to me to feed the girls too.
“I want pizza,”
Sky says. “Yummy, yummy pizza. In a big box.”
Why didn't I think
of that sooner? “Hey, I know what,” I tell them. “How
about we go to a pizza party?” The girls can eat at the party,
I can thank Ms. Francella, and then we'll leave.
is in over her head. She has befriended a troubled family that lives
across the street. She has lied to a social worker who is concerned
that the two little girls, Amber and Skye, are being neglected by
their mother. She is dating a boy she has always loved but realizes
that she doesn't really like him. She is busy with school, working
at the public library on Sundays and writing an advice column for
the school paper. On top of all this, she is trying to come to grips
with a secret in her own family.
is definitely in over her head.
is the story of smart, funny, dedicated and reliable Carly who becomes
lost when her best friend moves away. Carly has always defined herself
as Tanya's friend, and when Tanya and her family move to Australia
for a year, Carly must redefine herself and her life.
a Life tells the story of a young woman coming into her own.
We watch as Carly makes a lot of mistakes along the way, mistakes
that come from needing to belong. Carly dates the wrong boy while
the right one is right in front of her all the time. She tries to
protect the family across the street – even when she knows she
Carly manages to get a life. She finds out the secret that her father
has kept for so long, and this helps her to begin to understand and
then forgive. This empowers Carly to take charge of her own life –
even though that, too, can have its consequences.
dialogue is fresh and true, and Carly is a character to which many
will be able to relate. The novel deals with difficult issues head
on which makes the book hard to put down.
L. Branch is Coordinator of the Teacher-Librarianship by Distance
Learning Program at the Faculty of Education, the University of Alberta.
on this title or this review, send mail to email@example.com.
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.
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