WHERE YOU BELONG by Mary Ann McGuigan

WHERE YOU BELONG

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 This second novel from McGuigan (Cloud Dancer, 1994, not reviewed) is set in the Bronx of 1963. When her mother is evicted from her apartment, Fiona, 13, and her older brother, Liam, go back to their father, an abusive drunk. Things don't go well, and Fiona runs away before she is hit, ending up in the black and Puerto Rican neighborhood her parents always warned her away from. At first Fiona is scared, but then she runs into Yolanda Baker, a friend from a former school. The girls spend a picaresque day together, and Fiona's eyes are opened to the African-American community and the civil-rights movement. She meets some caring and unique characters: Yolanda's activist Aunt Cheryl; elderly family friend and doll-maker Cas; daffy Mrs. Carson. A contrived storyline and setting, and Fiona's wise-beyond- her-years narration, result in an unconvincing and sometimes didactic work. The strong point of the novel is that there are no easy answers: Yolanda and Liam's drug-running is catastrophic but unresolved, and, realistically, readers never know whether Fiona's father will be able to reform or if her mother can keep the family together. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-689-81250-7
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1997




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