Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Mom and Other Mysteries of the Universe, by Gina Willner-Pardo

Arlie can't stand her moth, and it's no wonder! No matter how hoard Arlie tries to please her, her Mom only has a critical word to say. Meanwhile, Arlie's little brother gets away with murder. But then two events happen (one tragic and one very peculiar): her parents are in a card accident and her mother falls into a deep coma and a new girl comes to school who looks and acts strikingly like Arlie's Mom (but as a 10 year-old).

From the title, I assumed this would be a nice mother-daughter struggle to get along book, and the supernatural twist that the author put in took me completely by surprise. But what might seem a bit derivative of Freaky Friday, actually works quite well as an original take on a fairly tired story line. And while the story is not exactly enthralling reading and suffers from some of that typical middle reader preachiness, this one was actually a bit fun.

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