Saturday, June 23, 2007

Gracie's Girl, by Ellen Wittlinger

Bess's mother is so busy helping the homeless down at the shelter that she doesn't have any time for Bess at all. Worse still, she wants Bess to come down and help as well. Bess can't stand the idea. She's much rather be planning her transformation to popularity as she starts middle school. But when she goes to the shelter and meets Gracie, her life changes and she realizes that there are more important things in life.

Fairly predictable and lacking an authentic voice, this story is not one of Wittlinger's best works. I'm a minor fan, so I was disappointed that Bess turned out to be such an uninspiring heroine. I suspect that Wittlinger herself didn't find the story all that exciting. It certainly doesn't seem that way. The dialogue is flat, plotting is erratic and uneven, and there isn't much that is new here. Give it a pass.

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