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HOW I SAVED MY FATHER’S LIFE (AND RUINED EVERYTHING ELSE) by Ann Hood

HOW I SAVED MY FATHER’S LIFE (AND RUINED EVERYTHING ELSE)

By Ann Hood

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-439-92819-9
Publisher: Scholastic

Twelve-year-old Madeline Vandermeer of Rhode Island just knows that she is destined to become Saint Madeline of Providence—after all, she has already performed two miracles, one of which she believes saved her father from an avalanche. However, shortly after her father’s close call, Madeline’s seemingly happy parents divorce. Deeply hurt by the separation, Madeline becomes increasingly determined to achieve sainthood and, even though she’s not Catholic, begins attending church, writes the pope and makes a friend, who shares her religious fervor. Madeline’s devotion to her faith is tempered by her passion for ballet, which helps ground the text and flesh out her character. Most striking is Madeline’s rocky relationship with her mother, whom she blames completely for the divorce. Despite her striving for sainthood, the cruel thoughts and actions that Madeline points at her mother dominate, painting her as mean-spirited, until she begins to slowly suspect that she’s blaming the wrong person. (Fiction. YA)