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STORE-BOUGHT BABY by Sandra Belton


by Sandra Belton

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-085086-8
Publisher: Greenwillow

Leah Claire’s much-loved adopted older brother Luce has died in a car accident and the pain of the loss is very nearly unbearable. Belton does an admirable job of letting Leah describe her despair and the alienation she feels from her parents, especially her mother, whose own grief makes her seem insensitive to Leah. Although the pain of coping with the death of a sibling is itself a worthy subject, this lacks much else in the way of plot. Leah begins to focus on the fact of Luce’s adoption, fantasizing that there may be another Luce somewhere. She begins the process of finding Luce’s birth parents, but a cathartic conversation with her mother repairs the strained relationship and Leah no longer feels driven to discover Luce’s origins. A sweet new boyfriend for Leah provides some diversion. Readers who have experienced the complex range of emotions brought on by a tragedy of this nature will appreciate Belton’s sensitive depiction of loss. (Fiction. 10+)