TAKE CARE OF MY GIRL by Patricia Hermes

TAKE CARE OF MY GIRL

Age Range: 9 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hermes (Mama, Let's Dance, 1991, etc.) again considers the timely theme of the meaning of family. Here, Brady's mother is long dead; her father, a Vietnam vet, was in a mental hospital before disappearing years ago, saying he was going off to save the whales. Brady lives with Jake, her gruff but kindly grandfather; at 11, she's as much caregiver as he is: severe emphysema is slowing him down. Still, Brady has good friends and does well in school until--archenemy Michele's topic, families, wins over Brady's environmentalism as class project. Rather sanctimoniously, the children are urged to engage in acts of togetherness with parents and siblings (to be reported on in class), culminating in ``Parents' Night.'' Feeling cruelly excluded, Brady yearns for her dad, and Jake (who has his own reasons: his days may be numbered) manages to find him--not far away, with a new family. There's a reunion, with mixed success: the family is welcoming, but Brady is uncomfortable (no books in Dad's house); most important, she realizes that Jake's love and care have made him her real family. Again, Hermes writes with intelligence and compassion. Readers may enjoy going on to Bawden's The Outside Child (1989), which treats a similar situation with more dramatic plotting and greater depth; meanwhile, the easy handling of school and friends in a familiar setting should make this a popular choice. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-316-35913-0
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1992




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