HOW TO BE A REAL PERSON (IN JUST ONE DAY) by Sally Warner

HOW TO BE A REAL PERSON (IN JUST ONE DAY)

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Warner (Totally Confidential, p. 805, etc.) here serves up a touching novel about a gritty and determined young girl who tries to cope with her mother’s mental illness all alone. Because of her partly self-imposed isolation, Kara doesn’t feel real and suffers in silence by pretending all is well. She confides in neither her father, who has taken a job in another city; her friends; nor any of her teachers. What she does do, however, is make lists about “how to be a real person”; she also watches what others do in order to copy their “real” ways and to make believe her life is normal, though her mother gets progressively worse. Kara’s greatest salvation through her worst travails, whether at home or at school, is to retreat mentally to Lonely Island, based on Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins, a book she has read and treasured many times. Here Kara attempts to escape, however temporarily, from the crushing loneliness of her life and from the secret she dares not reveal. While the ending is a trifle pat, young readers will get caught up in Kara’s dilemma and admire her strength under adversity. Very likely this novel will strike a responsive chord among readers who believe they have to handle family problems by themselves. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-375-80434-X
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000




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