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Almost Home

Almost Home

by Mary-Claire Helldorfer, Cheryl Harness (Illustrator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When their mother returns to law school, Jessie, 12, and her older brother Lewis must spend the summer at the island home of their grandfathera man they've never known. On the island, Jessie is befriended by Carmen, a deeply unhappy girl who claims to be a witch. For Jessie, it is a summer of self-discovery; as her relationship with her grandfather deepens, she uncovers important truths about both herself and her absent mother. With the strength derived from these new insights, Jessie is able to help Carmen. Unfortunately, this quietly rewarding tale is often overshadowed by a rambling and unfocused plot that includes several near-drownings, a mysterious 18th century pirate and Carmen's disastrously successful fortune-telling business. But shy, artistic Jessie, her compassionate grandmother and her prickly friend Carmen are true survivors: they will linger for a long time in the reader's mind. Ages 9-13. (September)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 When Jessie and her older brother Lewis are sent by their mother to spend seven weeks on an island in Maine with a grandfather they do not know, Jessie is apprehensive. Her mother had neither visited Jessie's grandfather on the island for almost 13 years since Jessie was born, nor had she ever discussed her life there with Jessie or Lewis. In addition to the mystery about her grandfather, Jessie is curious about the island where there were rumored to have been pirates and hidden treasure. Almost immediately upon arrival, Jessie meets a mysterious island girl. Together they make some interesting discoveries about the island and its early inhabitants as well as about themselves. Jessie's conflicts are satisfactorily resolved, and Jessie grows in characterthanks to her own good sense and to her loving grandfather, who gives her some insight into her mother's response to her own rather sad life. This is a smoothly written story with carefully interwoven subplots and well-drawn characters about whom readers will care. Donna S. Rodda, Solon City Schools, Ohio

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Age Range:
9 - 13 Years

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