A CERTAIN STRAIN OF PECULIAR by Gigi Amateau

A CERTAIN STRAIN OF PECULIAR

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Tired of relentless bullying from her sixth-grade classmates, Mary Harold steals her mother’s car and travels 691 miles to live with her nurturing grandmother in Wren, Ala. She learns cattle wrangling from the family’s ranch manager and befriends his daughter, Dixie. Mary physically and emotionally reinvents herself when the two form an intense friendship. When classmates ridicule the pair for their perceived romantic relationship, Mary defends Dixie by becoming a bully herself. Mary’s loving feelings toward Dixie are sensitively expressed and gently realized as she begins to question her sexuality. More character background would enhance believability; however, Amateau successfully alternates scenes of uncomfortable bullying with familiar sanctuary, providing balance and perspective. Unfortunately, the obvious parallels between the natural world and Mary’s maturation result in heavy-handed symbolism. The tidy conclusions detract from honest characterization, and Mary’s random thoughts occasionally create a jarring effect in the first-person, present-tense narration. Even so, this offering may resonate with select readers who can overlook the novel’s oddities to find a heroine with heart. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3009-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2009




MORE BY GIGI AMATEAU

ChildrenMACADOO OF THE MAURY RIVER by Gigi Amateau
by Gigi Amateau
ChildrenCOME AUGUST, COME FREEDOM by Gigi Amateau
by Gigi Amateau
ChildrenCHANCEY OF THE MAURY RIVER by Gigi Amateau
by Gigi Amateau