DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB by Tara Altebrando
Kirkus Star

DREAMLAND SOCIAL CLUB

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this evocative homage to Coney Island, the “Playground of the World,” a 16-year-old girl searches for clues about the mother she barely remembers.

Upon their grandfather’s death, Jane and Marcus Dryden and their father move into their mother’s childhood home on Coney Island. Jane soon discovers that her mother, Clementine Porcelli, the daughter of two carnies, founded the still-active Dreamland Social Club at Coney Island High School. She sets out to learn more about Clementine and the mysterious club. With the help of an old set of keys and a tattooed musician named Leo, she unlocks the various haunts of her mother’s youth and finds the sense of adventure she lost when her mother died. Along the way, Jane realizes that “normal” is a matter of perspective and gains insight into the complicated and contentious history of the town’s periods of growth and decline. Altebrando provides exceptional depth in both the setting and the motley cast of Coney Islanders, teen and adult, living and dead. Occasionally breaking the third-person narrative with Jane’s memories of her mother, the author breathes life into the long-dead Clementine, while weaving in the attractions of Coney Island’s fabled past.

The result is a memorable tale of personal growth and acceptance that will make teens eager to join a Dreamland Social Club of their own. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-525-42325-6
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2011




2011 BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS: REALISM IN THE HERE AND NOW:

ChildrenVIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez
by Jessica Martinez
ChildrenWINTER TOWN by Stephen Emond
by Stephen Emond
ChildrenTILT by Alan Cumyn
by Alan Cumyn
ChildrenSTAY WITH ME by Paul Griffin
by Paul Griffin
ChildrenWHY WE BROKE UP by Daniel Handler
by Daniel Handler
ChildrenTIGHTER by Adele Griffin
by Adele Griffin

MORE BY TARA ALTEBRANDO

ChildrenMY LIFE IN DIORAMAS by Tara Altebrando
by Tara Altebrando
ChildrenTHE BATTLE OF DARCY LANE by Tara Altebrando
by Tara Altebrando
ChildrenROOMIES by Sara Zarr
by Sara Zarr

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMERMAID PARK by Beth Mayall
by Beth Mayall
ChildrenSILHOUETTE OF A SPARROW by Molly Beth Griffin
by Molly Beth Griffin