Sunday, June 19, 2005

Hannah On Her Way, by Claudia Mills

Hannah still likes to play with dolls, make snow sculptures with her Dad, and braid her long hair. And being only in 5th grade, she feels that should be OK. But after the family's latest move, she's had trouble making friends and when she finds herself befriended by popular Caitlin, she admires her luck. That is, until Caitlin and her friends start pressuring Hannah to cut her hair, talk about boys, and wear make up. Now, she must choose whether to do those things and "grow up" or stay like she was.

I expected this to be fairly formulaic and slight, but it was a nice surprise instead. Hannah's decision is not so cut and dried as one might expect - part of her does want to grow up, so this isn't just the old peer-pressure story. Instead, Hannah has to learn what "growing up" really means for her and find her own path. In that way, the story is actually a really fulfilling pre-coming-of-age story.

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