MEETING MELANIE by Nancy Garden

MEETING MELANIE

Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Allie, almost 12, loves her life on Seal Head Island off the coast of Maine, but it promises to be a hard summer. Her lobsterman dad hurt his back, so the family sets up a pie shop, and sends Allie’s younger siblings to the mainland and Aunt Eulalie. Allie is used to summer people and their often fancy ways, but this year, there’s a new girl, Melanie, whose mother won’t let her have any dealings with the working-class “natives.” Melanie has spunk and fire and isn’t about to let her mother have complete control, so the girls begin a bumpy relationship. Melanie’s sister is pregnant, and their mother is trying to keep her hidden and away from the baby’s father—deemed socially unacceptable. Several colorful local characters—a regular summer person who is also a nurse, and a painter, a strange, none-too-clean fellow who can barely speak—play a key role in the action, which plays itself out in fairly predictable fashion. Most of the populace are drawn in simple strokes, but Allie and the island itself are fully realized, rich characters. Questions of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, class distinctions, wealth, and poverty are touched upon, if not wrestled with, and there’s just enough food for thought to keep things interesting. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-34943-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2002




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