THE PRIVATE THOUGHTS OF AMELIA E. RYE by Bonnie Shimko

THE PRIVATE THOUGHTS OF AMELIA E. RYE

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Despite Amelia E. Rye’s confession that, “I’m a very good liar. I curse, too,” she comes clean to readers in her “personal memoir,” in which she relates the difficulties of living with her bad-tempered mother, who was pushing 50 when Amelia was born. Mrs. Rye is too worn-out to muster any motherly feelings for her daughter. She forces Amelia to wear hand-me-downs that are decades out of fashion, causing the friendless girl to become the brunt of cruel pranks. Everything changes the day Fancy walks into Amelia’s fourth-grade class. New to the upstate New York town, the friendly African-American girl offers friendship and acceptance, the very things Amelia has been hankering for. The story moves quickly, and in its four-year span Amelia learns the truth about her dysfunctional family’s unhappy past. The 1960s-era setting is mostly irrelevant to the plot, the racial tension is unconvincing and Amelia’s observations are too often wise beyond her years. What propels this otherwise undistinguished coming-of-age story forward is the strong bond of friendship that deepens over time between Amelia and Fancy. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-36131-0
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




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