FAMILY FOR SALE by Eth Clifford


Age Range: 9 - 11
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 A weak tale of five brothers and sisters trying to take care of themselves while their hard-working mother gets some rest. When she wins a two-week cruise, Tillie, Trudy, Rob, Pete, and Sherman urge her to go; after all, Grandpa Marsh lives in the apartment over the garage. Initial bickering soon flares into outright rebellion when the eldest, Tillie, tries to serve salad for dinner. They decide to take turns being in charge, in descending order of age. That doesn't last long; Trudy serves fried chicken two nights running, and when Rob orders Sherman, the youngest, to put his huge dog Tip out in the yard, boy and dog run away (beneath the porch). With grown-ups never far away, the young people see little risk or need for self-reliance, and the tale ends on a distinctly minor note: Sherman tells Rob to stop ordering him around. Clifford (Harvey's Mystifying Raccoon Mix-Up, 1994, etc.) barely begins to exploit her premise for either comedy or drama, and her characters' foibles are more described than shown. Too undeveloped to satisfy. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-73571-8
Page count: 95pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1995