AMALEE by Dar Williams


Age Range: 9 - 12
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In her debut, singer/songwriter Williams nails the voice of sixth-grader Amalee, who is the only child of a single father. His best friends, whom she perceives as a group of misfits, surround her. A waiter who longs to be a chef, a therapist who will burst into tears at the slightest provocation, a painter who is still finding herself as well as her school secretary. As adolescence descends upon her, Amalee finds herself helplessly becoming a mean girl. She stands by silently as her new friends Halley and Ellen snidely pick on others and she blurts out rude statements to her father’s friends. In the midst of this inner torment, her father takes ill; bedridden and frighteningly weak, his friends rally, taking care of him and the uncommunicative Amalee. Despite the fear and anxiety of her daily life, Amalee begins to accept the help of these adults who come together around her dad. She begins to understand their remarkable friendship and begins to create one of her own. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-439-39563-1
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2004