THE BOYHOOD OF GRACE JONES by Jane Langton

THE BOYHOOD OF GRACE JONES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Her Majesty, Grace Jones has grown up a bit and transferred to the Winslow S. DeForest Junior High School, but she's still her old exuberant self -- outwardly a tomboy in her father's old blue serge middy, inwardly Trueblue Tom straight out of her beloved Swallows and Amazons. Grace's hero worship of Chatty Peak, president of the Girls' Leader Corps and Captain Nancy incarnate, and her pursuit of the gold ring awarded to the best all-round girl both end in disillusionment. However, she has her full share of moments of glory. Poetry strikes her like a thunderbolt, and she declaims Kubla Khan and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner with infectious gusto, while arguing a gut-level defense of free will with her heredity-environment conscious English teacher Miss Humminger. Trueblue Tom suffers an ignominious demise, beginning when Grace's first bout of real sailing ends in seasickness and sealed by her burgeoning puppy love for the music teacher Mr. Chester, and in the end Grace is a wiser, if -- sadly -- more feminized girl. The late '30's ambience is played to the hilt, though some of the attitudes -- like Mr. Chester's distinction between Grace's hoydenish "divine discontent" and Chatty's unseemly masculinity-- don't seem exactly right on today. The nostalgia, however, takes second place to Grace's spirited, sometimes giddy, enthusiasm for life which is guaranteed to bowl you over.
Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 1972
ISBN: 0060236868
Page count: 210pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1972




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