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Borrowed Children
     

Borrowed Children

5.0 1
by George Ella Lyon
 

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When Mandy Perritt's mother nearly dies giving birth to her baby brother, Mandy is forced to give up going to school. Since her mother is so ill, Mandy has to take care of the new baby and cook, clean, and keep house for the rest of her family. Some days the work seems like more than Mandy can handle. Some days it seems so unfair. Mandy always felt she didn't

Overview

When Mandy Perritt's mother nearly dies giving birth to her baby brother, Mandy is forced to give up going to school. Since her mother is so ill, Mandy has to take care of the new baby and cook, clean, and keep house for the rest of her family. Some days the work seems like more than Mandy can handle. Some days it seems so unfair. Mandy always felt she didn't belong in Goose Rock, Kentucky, anyway; she's sure that somewhere in the world there are finer things to be had, and she wants them.

Six weeks of so much responsibility are hard, but then Mama and Daddy surprise Mandy. She's going to spend Christmas with her grandparents in Memphis—a big, glamorous city. Mandy discovers kinfolk she never knew much about. She reams from them about her parents-stories that make her see them, and Goose Rock, in a different light. Now that Mandy's discovered so much about her family, how will her dreams change?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Because her mother is bedridden, Mandy, the narrator of this Depression-era tale, has to stay home from her beloved school to run the house. Mandy's voice is older than her 12 years, but it seems appropriate to a girl who takes on daunting chorescooking and cleaning for a family of eight in an isolated farmhouse with no electricity or running water. When the strain of her many responsibilities takes its toll on Mandy, she is allowed to take a trip alone to visit her maternal grandmother at Christmastime. Mandy sees the common thread that connects her grandmother to her mother and on down to herself. Lyon has created a wonderful character in Mandy, at once smart, wry and naive. Descriptions are sparked with lambent imagery (``Organ music is rich and excited, like darkness broken into light''). Lyon's simple yet penetrating observations on families and love convey truths as pertinent to adults as to youthful readers. Ages 10-12. (March)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9 With eloquence and an econo my of language, Lyon tells a story of dreams, of journeys, of family love and acceptance, set in Kentucky dur ing the Depression. When Mama is forced to stay in bed for six weeks af ter the birth of William, it is 12-year- old Mandy who becomes responsible for the care of her younger siblings and who keeps house for her older brothers and father. Once Mama is able to take over, Mandy is sent to vis it her well-to-do grandparents in Mem phis because she deserves a change but all is not what it seems, Mandy discovers, as she finds unexpected parallels between her mother's child hood and her own. Lyon has an intui tive understanding of the logic and feelings of children. With wit, humor, and insight, she shows Mandy's strain, anger, and fear when she is forced to quit school to take on the tremendous responsibilities thrust upon her. She weaves together a many layered story of near tragedies and funny incidents, family history and bonds, and a girl who comes to understand her family and how much she loves each member of it. Lyon has a natural ear for dia logue, and while the book is complex and offers much to think about, the amount of dialogue keeps it from being difficult reading. Mandy will long re main in readers' memories, but all of the minor characters are as adeptly drawn. Borrowed Children is fresh, different, and totally captivating. Trev Jones, ``School Library Journal''
From the Publisher
"A choice coming-of-age story, whose telling is subtle and whose writing is vivid." — Booklist (starred review)

"A new large paperback edition of what should be a classic and on the must read list for young adults." — Bourbon Times

"The beauty of the book is the simple reading and the powerful story that Lyon presents." — Floyd County Times

"Lyon never uses her first-person narrator to talk down to young readers. Instead, she provides a singular voice to tell an equally singular story." — New York Times Book Review

"Lyon's simple yet penetrating observations on families and love convey truths as pertinent to adults as to youthful readers." — Publishers Weekly

"A many layered story of near tragedies and funny incidents, family history and bonds, and a girl who comes to understand her family and how much she loves each member of it." — School Library Journal (starred review)

"Teens will admire Amanda's resilience." — Southern Living

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780553283808
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/01/1990
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.84(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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Borrowed Children 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. Anybody who can read needs to read about Amanda and how she overcomes having to quit school and take care of her siblings. Like I said this a must read book!!! :) :) :)