Thursday, July 06, 2006

What I Believe, by Norma Fox Mazer, 2005

Vicky Marnet, middle schooler, aspiring lawyer, and budding poet, writes obsessively about her life, her family, and her father, who lost his executive job two years ago and slid into a deep depression. Poems in free verse and ambitious forms tell how her family sells its posh suburban home and moves into an apartment in the city, where her parents find low-paying jobs, and the depression and money struggles continue. Realistic middle-grade novel-in-verse offering non-sentimentalized hope amidst inner and outer trials; Vicky is a believable teen making believable choices, even if her sophisticated poetic skills seem exalted for her age. Recommended.

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