DARING TO BE ABIGAIL by Rachel Vail

DARING TO BE ABIGAIL

Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Abby, 11, has a promising first day at Camp Nashaquitsa: Her new bunkmates accept her as Abigail, as she would like to be known, and she expects to prove herself the strong, brave person she believes her recently deceased father wanted her to be. The one sour note is Dana, whose obnoxious behavior quickly leads to her isolation by the other girls. Soon their dislike of Dana becomes full-fledged harassment, in which Abigail participates reluctantly; she likes Dana enough to confide in her about her father, but never sticks up for her when the others are around. When the group prevails upon Abigail, who never turns down dares, to urinate in Dana's ubiquitous mouthwash, readers are swept into the maelstrom of Abigail's waning sense of priorities, her fragile self- confidence, and her unresolved feelings about her father's death. What starts out as a very funny Danzigeresque camp story turns into an affecting look at peer pressure and the rituals of preadolescent cruelty and victimization. Vail (Ever After, 1994, etc.) makes teen angst absolutely harrowing and layers the scenes of Abigail's unraveling with poignancy and clues to her salvation. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-531-09517-7
Page count: 130pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1996




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