JOURNEY by Patricia MacLachlan

JOURNEY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Acting on the yearning expressed in the name she gave her son 11 years ago, Journey's mother has gone, leaving him with his grandparents and his older sister Cat. Mama sends money from time to time but no word or address. While Cat works out her distress by enlarging the farm garden, Journey struggles with his memories and tries to assign blame: Is it his fault that Mama left? Or is Grandfather, who's now preoccupied with snapping photos with the camera Mama also abandoned, an appropriate target for his anger? In supple, exquisitely economical style, MacLachlan (Sarah, Plain and Tall, Newbery Award, 1986) unfolds Journey's discoveries and insights along the way to his recognition that it's Grandfather--not the father who fled when he was a baby, not even Mama--who has always cared for him like a parent. In a symbolic act that Cat describes as ``murder,'' Mama ripped the family photos into tiny pieces that can never be rejoined; Grandfather is not only learning to take new photos but has found and is printing the old negatives. Meanwhile, a cat (``Bloom'') has insinuated herself into the family despite Grandma's aversion (she loves birds) and has given birth; and Journey has continued his friendship with Cooper, whose warm, happy family provides a healthy model: not perfect, but good enough--as Journey can finally describe their own family when Mama eventually telephones. Vintage MacLachlan: uniquely memorable people; a funny, pungent, compact, and wonderfully wise story. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8+)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-30427-7
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991




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