ALICE IN-BETWEEN

From the Alice McKinley series , Vol. 9

The fifth book about Alice slips comfortably into formula, but fans of the motherless preteen(now completing seventh grade) won't object. It's not only Alice who's pausing on the verge of a next phase; her brother Lester, 20, is still happily enamored of the same two young women; and Dad's romance with Alice's teacher is still tempered by his wife's memory. Meanwhile, Alice and friend Pamela test their dawning maturity. Alice dresses up for a 13th birthday-gift evening with Lester, during which they rescue his friend Crystal from an obnoxious pickup; more threateningly, when Alice, Pamela, and their timid friend Elizabeth take a sleeper to visit Aunt Sally, an older man takes Pamela's grownup pose all too seriously. But on the whole Alice is comfortable being neither a child nor an adult; "I was sort of between problems," she observes, and it's a pleasure to visit her in this unwontedly tranquil state. Still, a casual but unexpectedly warm kiss from old friend Patrick at book's end suggests that the new teenager — as thoughtful and lively as ever — will soon be on to the next stage. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-689-31890-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1994

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ASK ME NO QUESTIONS

Illegal immigrant sisters learn a lot about themselves when their family faces deportation in this compelling contemporary drama. Immigrants from Bangladesh, Nadira, her older sister Aisha and their parents live in New York City with expired visas. Fourteen-year-old Nadira describes herself as “the slow-wit second-born” who follows Aisha, the family star who’s on track for class valedictorian and a top-rate college. Everything changes when post-9/11 government crack-downs on Muslim immigrants push the family to seek asylum in Canada where they are turned away at the border and their father is arrested by U.S. immigration. The sisters return to New York living in constant fear of detection and trying to pretend everything is normal. As months pass, Aisha falls apart while Nadira uses her head in “a right way” to save her father and her family. Nadira’s need for acceptance by her family neatly parallels the family’s desire for acceptance in their adopted country. A perceptive peek into the lives of foreigners on the fringe. (endnote) (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-4169-0351-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Ginee Seo/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2005

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WHAT THE MOON SAW

When Clara Luna, 14, visits rural Mexico for the summer to visit the paternal grandparents she has never met, she cannot know her trip will involve an emotional and spiritual journey into her family’s past and a deep connection to a rich heritage of which she was barely aware. Long estranged from his parents, Clara’s father had entered the U.S. illegally years before, subsequently becoming a successful business owner who never spoke about what he left behind. Clara’s journey into her grandmother’s history (told in alternating chapters with Clara’s own first-person narrative) and her discovery that she, like her grandmother and ancestors, has a gift for healing, awakens her to the simple, mystical joys of a rural lifestyle she comes to love and wholly embrace. Painfully aware of not fitting into suburban teen life in her native Maryland, Clara awakens to feeling alive in Mexico and realizes a sweet first love with Pedro, a charming goat herder. Beautifully written, this is filled with evocative language that is rich in imagery and nuance and speaks to the connections that bind us all. Add a thrilling adventure and all the makings of an entrancing read are here. (glossaries) (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2006

ISBN: 0-385-73343-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2006

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