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D, MY NAME IS DANITA by Norma Fox Mazer

D, MY NAME IS DANITA

by Norma Fox Mazer

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-590-43655-4
Publisher: Scholastic

 Like earlier protagonists of this alphabetical series, eighth-grader Danita learns something about a parent that forever alters her family's balance. First it's mysterious phone calls; then Danita keeps noticing the same red-sneakered 19-year-old, in too many situations to be coincidence. Even moderately astute readers will enjoy realizing long before Danita does that ``D.T.'' is her half-brother: born as the result of a high-school romance, Dad has never known of the boy's existence. The drama of a nice youth hoping to find a father but encountering a cold reception from an otherwise affectionate family man who simply freezes because he has no idea how to respond is sketched lightly here; the focus is on narrator Danita, who is the first approached by her brother, and who intervenes on his behalf--and, fleshing out the story, on her contrasting concerns with boys and a best friend. In a refreshing denouement, it's Mom (the last to know: Dad doesn't trust her reaction) who points out that D.T. should get a real welcome. No melodrama here; just another of Mazer's unique, believable families, coping despite their particular frailties. Again, light but nourishing, with plenty of reader appeal. (Fiction. 10-14)