GINA.JAMIE.FATHER.BEAR. by George Ella Lyon

GINA.JAMIE.FATHER.BEAR.

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lyon (One Lucky Girl, 2000, etc.) twines parallel tales around two young people whose fathers, both single parents, keep disappearing on mysterious errands. Though Gina lives in Ohio and Jamie in a place where magic rules, both share a common concern. Jamie’s father not only insists on hunting and gathering herbs alone, but has forbidden him even to enter the nearby forest, while Gina, daughter of a divorced Shaker Heights doctor, has become aware that her father has taken to leaving the house unusually early in the morning. In alternating chapters, Gina and Jamie slowly nerve themselves to follow their parents, and make shocking discoveries: Gina’s meets a woman (though not for what she thinks), and Jamie’s becomes a huge, white bear. As it turns out, both seemingly strong, inflexible men are waging desperate struggles with concealed guilt and grief—but once their secrets are out, both show a heartening ability to accept, even embrace, changes in themselves and their lives. Gina and Jamie do make a brief climactic connection across universes, but the central figures here are the two men, the central relationships the ones between parents and children. The metaphorical currents lie close enough to the surface for reflective younger readers to perceive, but unlike Lowry’s The Giver (1993) and its sequel Gathering Blue (2000) they don’t overwhelm the characters or the plot. Rich, subtle storytelling. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-689-84370-4
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002




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