SONGS OF FAITH by Angela Johnson

SONGS OF FAITH

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A young African-American girl struggles to reconcile her parents' divorce and the subsequent fragmentation of her family in this eloquent and life-affirming novel from Johnson (Humming Whispers, 1995, etc.). The town of Harvey, Ohio, in the summer of 1975 isn't much of a playground for the narrator, 13-year-old Doreen, her younger brother, Robert, and their mother, Mama Dot: Plant closings and a stagnant economy have left it a desperate, depressed version of its former, thriving self. Yet Mama Dot attends Ohio University as a full-time student with plans to become a museum curator, and the kids have plenty of friends to play with, although the memory of their father, who recently moved to Chicago, is a source of constant sadness. The America that Johnson recreates is far removed from the Bicentennial euphoria the characters anticipate, one that reels from the Vietnam War as a destroyer of fathers and husbands, offering no comfort nor the reward of a decent job upon their return. Johnson is honest enough to offer no easy answers: While Doreen's father returns to the family, it is only for a visit; when he offers to take Robert, who has stopped talking, Doreen realizes that she must make yet another sacrifice. But the message is uplifting--even though her family cannot be together, and she is still in pain, Doreen is left at the conclusion still full of love and, more importantly, hope. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-531-30023-4
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1997




15 BOOKS TO HELP KIDS DEAL WITH DIVORCE:

Children MY NEW BEST FRIEND by Julie Bowe
by Julie Bowe
Children STRIDER by Beverly Cleary
by Beverly Cleary
Children WAITING FOR NORMAL by Leslie Connor
by Leslie Connor
Children LEXIE by Audrey Couloumbis
by Audrey Couloumbis

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