THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE by Megan McDonald

THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

Age Range: 11 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 From the author of a number of beautifully written picture books (The Potato Man, 1991), a first novel about a seventh- grader trying to deal with her father's depression. Hallie's dad built bridges; the never-completed span across Pittsburgh's Allegheny that he was working on when he was laid off is a bitter reminder that his livelihood and his beloved vocation are both gone. He hangs out in his shop, making metal ``sculptures'' that even Mom disparages, and lashing out, especially at Hallie. Meanwhile, Hallie's becoming friends with a nice ninth grader, Crane; unfortunately, her impulse to confide her worry about Dad (she's just seen him walking the bridge's girders) coincides with Crane's first kiss, a dissonance Hallie can't handle; she flees Crane, then erupts at Dad. His response almost ends in tragedy, but extraordinary luck intervenes. The dramatic events at the end precipitate a believable reconciliation; but the fully realized characters are the book's greatest strength, especially Hallie- -thoughtful, thrown on her own by her sister's departure for college and Dad's personality change, striving (sometimes awkwardly) to build new bridges to her loved ones. The writing, too, is unusually well crafted: accessible, lyrical, with wonderfully natural dialogue (the impatience between parent and teenager, the tentative confidences of early friendship). An excellent debut. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-05478-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993




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