HEADS, I WIN by Patricia Hermes


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Given her own book, Bailey Wharton of Kevin Corbett Eats Flies (1986) emerges as a touching, believable character in her search for acceptance. Bailey's life of shuttling from one foster home to another has taught her not to become attached to anyone--and to save pride by being the first to let go. But these coping mechanisms are sorely tried by her growing friendship with Kevin and her attachment to her new foster home: though communication is difficult with vague, feckless Ms. Henderson, she feels some affection for her and more for little Matt, for whom she cares nightly while Ms. Henderson works. Her campaign to be president of the fifth grade becomes her private test of acceptance; her misguided efforts to win include bribery and making her classmates believe that she's had a head transplant. Just in time, she begins to understand the true meaning of acceptance, resulting in an election-winning speech and a tentative rapprochement with her foster mother. Although neither as subtle nor as well-realized as Gilly Hopkins, Bailey tells her story with wry self-awareness; she's tough and honest, easy to cheer for, and entertaining to know.

Pub Date: May 10th, 1988
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich