NOT A CHANCE by Michelle Mulder
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review


A Canadian teenager must decide if she knows what’s best for her Dominican best friend.

Every summer, Dian travels to the small Dominican Republic village of Cucubano with her doctor parents. Now 13, Dian would like to enjoy a “normal Canadian teenager” summer, but they drag her along again nonetheless. Once there, she discovers that her best friend, 14-year-old Aracely, is engaged. Dian cannot understand why Aracely would choose a typical village life over the chance to study to become a doctor in Canada. As a socially aware only child, Dian is a believably mature, introspective narrator whose fears for her friend feel justified. But when her disapproval threatens their friendship, readers will wrestle along with Dian as she decides whether to trust her friend or to be her savior. Dian’s growth is succinctly chronicled as she evolves from a child struggling to form an identity apart from her parents (“parents like mine, who expect you to spend every waking moment saving the world”) into a confident young woman (“I’m trying to help people, but I’m not raging at the world and refusing to enjoy life....It’s about balancing”). Mulder’s spare prose neither makes light of a delicate issue nor paints it with a broad brush.

Quietly perceptive and provocative. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4598-0216-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Orca
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2013


ChildrenTHE VEGETABLE MUSEUM by Michelle Mulder
by Michelle Mulder
ChildrenHOME SWEET NEIGHBORHOOD by Michelle Mulder
by Michelle Mulder
ChildrenGOING WILD by Michelle Mulder
by Michelle Mulder


ChildrenBREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu
by Anne Ursu
ChildrenWHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
by Rebecca Stead
ChildrenTWELVE by Lauren Myracle
by Lauren Myracle