THE FORMERLY GREAT ALEXANDER FAMILY by Susan Shreve

THE FORMERLY GREAT ALEXANDER FAMILY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Liam, 10, thinks he has a nearly perfect family, so when his parents announce that they are separating, it takes him by surprise. Though it hits his three sisters hard, they seem more able to deal with it than he is. Liam just shuts down; he refuses to visit his father at his new apartment, tries (and fails) to keep the separation a secret from his friends, quits baseball, and ends up just hanging around the house, depressed and angry. Unlike so many novels of this type, Liam never come across as spoiled or bratty. Shreve (Lucy Forever, Miss Rosetree, and the Stolen Baby, 1994, etc.) captures a real child in simple, plain language, makes readers feel Liam's pain and anger, understand it, and share with him the perverse satisfaction that comes from holding on to sadness, and using it to lash out and hurt others. The third-person narration keeps the perspective strictly Liam's; he never knows the reason for the split, and neither do readers. With understatement, Shreve proves again that taciturn books may be the most powerful. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-688-13551-X
Page count: 86pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1995




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