Books by Pamela Lowell

Released: April 1, 2010

In this trite effort, ninth grader Nellie is a gymnast just getting ready to compete at the national level when she sustains a serious brain injury in an automobile accident. Her resentful, high-school-junior sister, Claire, was driving home after an underage party. She didn't stop a drunken Nellie from hanging out the car window just before the accident. Claire is seemingly wracked with guilt as Nellie makes a slow, uneven recovery, but she's also angry at new limitations her parents have placed on her and must decide whether to extricate herself from a relationship with bad-boy Nick. Chapters are told from the alternating first-person, present-tense points of view of Claire, two of her friends and—very oddly—some undamaged part of Nellie's brain. Merde! Nellie's brain bizarrely lapses into French for occasional comments and refers to Nellie as "our girl," forcing a confusing distance from Nellie herself, whose perspective is never captured. This diminishes her significance, although her injury is intended to be central to this hackneyed tale. A miss. (Fiction. 12 & up)Read full book review >
RETURNABLE GIRL by Pamela Lowell
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

A convincing portrait of a troubled 13-year-old girl lifts this above the level of mere entertainment. Ronnie's drug-addicted and alcoholic mom abandoned her at age 11, and Ronnie has been kicked out of numerous foster homes ever since. She's found a good home with her latest foster mom who wants to adopt her, but Ronnie can't let go of her dream of reuniting with her real mother. Ronnie acts out violently, steals and lies, but worries that she's abandoning an equally troubled friend as she strives for acceptance with the "in" crowd at her middle school. As a family therapist, Lowell knows something about unhappy adolescents. Her expertise allows her to depict not only Ronnie's growing understanding of her situation and those of her friends, but also the reality of her life, all through Ronnie's eyes. Readable and enlightening for girls and their parents. (Fiction. YA)Read full book review >