Boundless Grace: Sequel to Amazing Grace


In this sequel to Amazing Grace, Grace longs for the kind of family she reads about in books, but she barely remembers her own father who left home when she was small. Then he invites her to visit him and his new family in Africa, and Grace soon realizes that even in divided families, love can prove boundless. Watercolor illustrations.

Grace is invited for a visit with her father and his new family in Africa.

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In this sequel to Amazing Grace, Grace longs for the kind of family she reads about in books, but she barely remembers her own father who left home when she was small. Then he invites her to visit him and his new family in Africa, and Grace soon realizes that even in divided families, love can prove boundless. Watercolor illustrations.

Grace is invited for a visit with her father and his new family in Africa.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Irrepressible, plucky Grace charmed a multitude of readers when she debuted in Amazing Grace, defying the narrow-mindedness of her classmates to land the plum role of Peter Plan in the school play. In this more message-oriented sequel, Grace is older (her gap-toothed grin all filled in), but still brimming with stories and dreams. Here she must overcome her own preconceptions and fears to accept and find acceptance with her divorced and remarried father's ``other'' family in Africa. Traveling to The Gambia with her grandmother, Grace frets about the horrible stepmothers found in fairy tales and worries that her hosts won't need or love her (``They make a storybook family without me''). Unlike the first book, where the spunkiness of the heroine was the heart of the story, this tale revolves around the lesson that ``families are what you make them.'' Hoffman has once again imbued her story with an abundance of familial understanding. Binch's brilliant watercolors capture the colorful clothing and scenery of the African village; her snapshot-like portraits seem to radiate light. Despite the more predictable plot line, this volume is as assured and as uplifting as its predecessor. Ages 4-8. (May)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Amazing Grace is back with all her exuberance and feistiness in this sequel. Grace is invited to meet her father's new family in Africa. On arriving in The Gambia, she is awed by the sights, the color, the animals, the rural ambience, but especially by her stepmother and her "half-siblings." She feels like an outsider. They are a storybook family without her. Nana reminds her that "Families are what you make them." Grace is wise enough to understand that. The paintings grab you and let you inhale the exquisite colors and the exotic atmosphere.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Once again Grace charms us. Her Dad, who she barely remembers, invites her to come to The Gambia for a visit with him and his new family. Nana agrees to accompany Grace on the visit. It is an emotional tussle to accept a stepmother, brother and sister, and to become reacquainted with her Dad. Nana is the common thread between Grace's life in America and this new family in Africa. Her adage "families are what you make them" guides Grace into an acceptance and enjoyment of the separate lives and cultures of her parents.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Story-loving, thoughtful Grace faced racial and sexual stereotyping in Amazing Grace. She takes on narrow definitions of family in Boundless Grace. Grace's family "is not right" because she can't find the mother-grandmother household reflected in her books and when her father issues an invitation to visit him and his second family in Gambia, Grace concludes, "They make a storybook family without me. I'm one girl too many." Then Grace enjoys the role of big sister, befriends the stepmother she'd intended to hate, savors her father's storytelling, and decides she'll compensate for books' failures by writing a story to reflect her family. In a story textured with word images and enriched by illustration and strong characters, the author voices difficult issues young children can't describe. She is never preachy, for like her heroine, she knows the wisdom of letting story tell situation.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The irrepressible heroine of Amazing Grace (Dial, 1991) is back in this realistic adventure of the heart. A lover of stories, Grace longs for a family like the ones she reads about in her books. She has a secure and happy home with her ma, her nana, and her cat, but feels she's missed out by not having a father, a brother, and a dog. Her own father moved to Africa after her parents' divorce and began a new family there. One day her mother surprises her with the news that her dad has sent tickets for Grace and Nana to come for a visit. Arriving in The Gambia, she finds the storybook family she's been looking for, but it doesn't seem to include her. "`I'm one girl too many. Besides, it's the wrong Ma,'" she says. Jatou doesn't fit the model of any of the stepmothers Grace has read about, but she promises her father she'll try to like the woman since they are both so important to him. Through the wonderful visit and getting to know her stepfamily Grace learns to embrace life even when it isn't picture perfect. Binch's sumptuous pencil and watercolor artwork is astonishingly lifelike and expressive in detail. The exotic locale is an extra bonus in this universal story that is validating, uplifting, and bound to please.-Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Hazel Rochman
In the first picture book about Grace, "Amazing Grace" (1991), the wonderful upbeat story is grounded in reality: the determined black girl's dream comes true, and she gets to play the part of Peter Pan in the school play because she's talented and imaginative, and because she practices and practices. Times are tough, people are prejudiced, but she makes it, with the loving support of her hardworking single-parent mother and grandmother In this sequel another dream comes true, and this time, it's not nearly as convincing. It turns out her absent father has really loved her all the time. What's more, he's a rich man in Africa, and he sends plane tickets for her and her grandmother to come and visit with his new wife and children. When they get to The Gambia, it's like a fairy tale in real life, far beyond the fantasy of any child longing for a father. Grace sulks for a while (she tells herself all the stepmother stories, from "Hansel and Gretel" to "Cinderella"), but everyone loves everyone, and soon there's not a sad or frowning face anywhere. Of course it's great to see Africa without the usual primitive and exotic stereotypes, and kids will enjoy finding the cruel fairy-tale stepparent transformed The text on the jacket's back flap goes on and on about the book's "authenticity," reassuring us that the British author and illustrator traveled to The Gambia and took photographs and made sure every single local detail was accurate. That's all very well and good, but unfortunately, it's the story that doesn't ring true Still, the paintings are glorious, the landscapes filled with light and color, the people strongly individualized, whether Grace is shopping for traditional fabrics, playing with her stepbrother, looking at crocodiles with her loving father, or talking on the telephone with the mother she misses badly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803717152
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.76 (w) x 10.84 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, and her powers of observation bring vitality and humour to all her stories and retellings.

Her previous titles for Dorling Kindersley include Henry's Baby and A First Bible Story Book. Her best-known picture books are Amazing Grace, Three Wise Women, and An Angel Just Like Me. Mary lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and they have three daughters. The girls were brought up on myths and legends, of which Mary and her husband have an extensive collection.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003


    Upon reading this book my heart soared. Finally, a story to which my daughter can completely relate. This book helped me connect my child with her father in Africa.

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