HEAVEN by Angela Johnson

HEAVEN

Age Range: 11 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

After spending most of her life in bucolic Heaven, Ohio, a teenager finds her certainties come tumbling down. Marley Carroll likes her family, has two steady friends, and a wandering uncle, Jack, who sends her poetic letters describing his travels and asking about her thoughts and dreams. Her peace is shattered by the arrival of a different sort of letter, addressed to “Monna Floyd,” from an Alabama deacon trying to reconstruct a burnt church’s records; the people she calls Momma and Pops apologetically explain that they are actually her aunt and uncle, that Jack is her father, and that her mother died in an auto accident when she was very young. Devastated, cast adrift, Marley searches for her parents in a small box of mementos, and in early memories, meanwhile struggling, in light of her new knowledge, to redefine her other relationships. Ultimately, in her friends’ situations as in her own, Marley finds clear evidence that love, more than blood, makes a family. Johnson (see review, above) uses the present tense to give her ruminative, sparely told story a sense of immediacy, creates a varied, likeable supporting cast and, without explicitly addressing every loose end, communicates a clear sense that Marley—and Jack, still working through his grief—are going to be all right. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-689-82229-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1998




MORE BY ANGELA JOHNSON

ChildrenALL DIFFERENT NOW by Angela Johnson
by Angela Johnson
ChildrenLOTTIE PARIS AND THE BEST PLACE by Angela Johnson
by Angela Johnson
ChildrenA CERTAIN OCTOBER by Angela Johnson
by Angela Johnson

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenGIRL IN REVERSE by Barbara Stuber
by Barbara Stuber