ELLEN’S BOOK OF LIFE by Joan Givner

ELLEN’S BOOK OF LIFE

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ellen Fremedon’s family—Ellen most of all—is desperately stressed by her mother’s illness, and a trip across the country to visit with friends provides only the briefest of reprieves before her mother’s death sends everyone into the dislocation and alienation of grief. The discovery of a letter from her mother giving Ellen her blessing to find her birth mother pulls Ellen back into touch with the world. Her biological relatives—her birth mother, a prickly, successful lawyer, her Holocaust-survivor great-grandfather and the grandmother who embraces her newfound granddaughter—prove to be a gift not only to Ellen but to her father and younger brothers as well. Ellen’s resulting interest in her Jewish heritage is cautious but keen; her father returns to an interest in the world by fighting against a waterfront development project in their small Vancouver Island town. The several threads of the story weave together without fanfare but with a calm assurance that creates a sturdy sense of character and believability. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-88899-853-8
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008