ABOUT FACE by June Rae Wood


Age Range: 11 - 13
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By virtue of a brief but meaningful friendship, two dissatisfied girls from sharply different backgrounds come to realize the value of what they have. Glory Bea Goode, who just finished seventh grade, hates living in her rural Missouri town in an old historic home that doubles as a junk shop. But Glory’s stable life in “a house without wheels” is the envy of Marvalene Zulig, who travels around the country with a touring carnival. Although they are at opposite ends of the temperamental spectrum—Marvalene is in-your-face assertive while Glory is timid and diffident—each embraces past hurts that poison their lives. Marvalene holds her father and the grueling carnival life he loves responsible for her mom’s disfiguring stroke, while Glory, whose face is marred by a large birthmark, is too self-conscious to make friends. In the course of this colorfully written novel, Glory finds out that if she sees herself “as imperfect, other people will, too,” and Marvalene comes to learn that she’s a true carnival “firefly,” a person who “only shine(s) while on the wing.” Peopled with a quirky mix of improbable characters and somewhat lacking in emotional punch, this humane story conveys, in a quiet but stubbornly persuasive style, that happiness comes from within. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-399-23419-5
Page count: 273pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999