Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Amalee, by Dar Williams

Amelee doesn't have any friends at school that she's comfortable with, and she has a pretty unusual life at home. Her father and his friends are raising her and she spends much of her time with them. Things change when her father gets sick and she has to rely on others for help, discovering unusual and unexpected allies, and making a new friend or two.

Being a big Dar fan, I'm trying (with some difficulty) to ignore who the author is, but you can certainly see the similiarity between the book and her songs. Full of optimism about the strength of kindness, and full of complicated thoughts about human nature and seeing the world through other people's eyes, this is a warm story. However, it is also a bit preachy for many of the same reasons, and more about the adults than the kids. There are nice lessons here but it will be a bit hard for younger readers to relate to them. Amalee never quite comes alive and things pop out of her mouth that just don't seem in character. So, I guess this was something of a disappointment.

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