THE DANDELION GARDEN by Budge Wilson

THE DANDELION GARDEN

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A collection of ten very strong stories, some uneven but all worth reading more than once, about turning points in young lives, from which a return to innocence is impossible. When does a person grow up? Does it happen all at once or gradually? In ``Dreams,'' the narrator comments that 12 ``seems to be a favorite age for waking up.'' Suddenly he can hear the edge in his mother's voice, while his younger siblings remain blissfully oblivious. But Janetta in ``Janetta's Confinement'' learns some important lessons at seven-and-a-half. And Joanna McKelvey has her moment of truth at 14, when an idolized preacher reveals his darker side. Characters are well-realized; the many voices, for the most part, ring true. The title story, subtitled ``A Modern Fable for Elderly Children,'' and ``The Happy Pill,'' a futuristic science fiction piece, are more contrived and self-conscious than the others. Wilson (The Leaving, 1992, etc.) is at her best when writing realistically, focusing on a bit of conversation, a sideways glance, a finger stroking someone's wrist--the seemingly insignificant details that have the power to change everything. (Fiction/short stories. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 11th, 1995
ISBN: 0-399-22768-7
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1995