The Broken Bridge

( 3 )

Overview

At 16, Ginny finds that her love of painting connects her to the artistic Haitian mother she never knew and eases the isolation she feels as the only mixed-race teen in her Welsh village. When she learns she has a half-brother by her father's first marriage, her world is shattered. Ginny embarks on a quest for the truth that will allow her to claim her artistic heritage?and face her father.

Over the course of a long summer in Wales, sixteen-year-old Ginny, the ...

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Overview

At 16, Ginny finds that her love of painting connects her to the artistic Haitian mother she never knew and eases the isolation she feels as the only mixed-race teen in her Welsh village. When she learns she has a half-brother by her father's first marriage, her world is shattered. Ginny embarks on a quest for the truth that will allow her to claim her artistic heritage—and face her father.

Over the course of a long summer in Wales, sixteen-year-old Ginny, the mixed-race, artist daughter of an English father and a Haitian mother, learns that she has a half-brother from her father's earlier marriage, and that her own mother may still be alive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The emotional truths that Pullman reveals are so heartfelt and raw that they hardly read like fiction."—(starred) Publishers Weekly.

"An intriguing mystery that keeps the reader guessing and turning the pages until the very end."—Horn Book.  

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW commented that the author ``deftly interweaves strong themes'' in this ``moving'' tale of a half-black teenager growing up in rural north Wales. Ages 12-up. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
An outsider in her Welsh village sixteen-year-old Ginny discovers that she has a white half-brother. She then sets out to learn the truth and begins to understand the vague memories of her childhood. This compelling story received a starred review in School Library Journal.
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Ginny has always believed that she and her father form a perfect family unit. Though she's curious about her Haitian mother, who passed away soon after Ginny was born, she's content to live an idyllic life with her father in their coastal Wales village. She works at two local restaurants and pursues her passion for drawing in her spare time. Then Ginny receives shocking news: she has a white half-brother, Robert, who is coming to live with them because his mother has died. Ginny and Robert hate each other on sight, but as family secrets start to emerge they begin working together to get the facts. Ginny learns that her father was never married to her mother, but was actually married to Robert's mother. Dim memories of a foster home coincide with the discovery that her father may have been in jail. Most unbelievable of all, Ginny's mother may be alive. Ginny's quest for her identity is inextricably linked to her ethnicity, her feelings of being an outsider in her community where she is one of only two people of color, and her love of art. Though Ginny is remarkably innocent for a 16-year old, overall Philip Pullman's novel (LaurelLeaf, pap. 1994) about family and identity stands the test of time. Mariam Margolyes masterfully voices both female and male characters, though some of the Welsh phrases may confuse listeners. This gentle, moving listen, with a pinch of voodoo, is a welcome change of pace from edgier selections.—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Ginny has always believed that she and her father form a perfect family unit. Though she's curious about her Haitian mother, who passed away soon after Ginny was born, she's content to live an idyllic life with her father in their coastal Wales village. She works at two local restaurants and pursues her passion for drawing in her spare time. Then Ginny receives shocking news: she has a white half-brother, Robert, who is coming to live with them because his mother has died. Ginny and Robert hate each other on sight, but as family secrets start to emerge they begin working together to get the facts. Ginny learns that her father was never married to her mother, but was actually married to Robert's mother. Dim memories of a foster home coincide with the discovery that her father may have been in jail. Most unbelievable of all, Ginny's mother may be alive. Ginny's quest for her identity is inextricably linked to her ethnicity, her feelings of being an outsider in her community where she is one of only two people of color, and her love of art. Though Ginny is remarkably innocent for a 16-year old, overall Philip Pullman's novel (LaurelLeaf, pap. 1994) about family and identity stands the test of time. Mariam Margolyes masterfully voices both female and male characters, though some of the Welsh phrases may confuse listeners. This gentle, moving listen, with a pinch of voodoo, is a welcome change of pace from edgier selections.—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679847151
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 738,516
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip  Pullman

Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England and was brought up in Rhodesia, Australia, London and Wales.  Philip graduated from Oxford University in 1973 with a degree in English, and has taught middle school at Westminter College.  He is the author of many highly-acclaimed books for young readers, from contemporary fiction to Victorian thrillers, and has written plays and picture books for readers of all ages.  Philip's current book, The Golden Compass , has been hailed as "a rich combination of high fantasy, high drama, and intense emotion" by author Lloyd Alexander, and "extraordinary storytelling at it's very best" by the Detroit Free-Press .

Philip currently lives in Oxford with his wife, Judith, and children.  

Good To Know

Interesting facts about Philip Pullman and his books:
  • The Amber Spyglass was the first children's book to be named the Whitbread Book of the Year.

  • Among the other awards Pullman has received are Britain's prestigious Eleanor Farjeon Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (a sort of Nobel Prize for children's literature) honoring his entire body of work.

  • Pullman enjoys playing the piano. "I'd like to play it well," he quips on his website. "But I can't, so the rest of the family has to put up with my playing it badly."

  • Pullman persuaded his publisher to let him illustrate the first two books of His Dark Materials with small, symbolic pen and ink drawings at the start of each chapter. Although these illustrations were left out of first editions in the U.S., they have been included in later editions. The third book of the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass does not have illustrations, but chapters begin with quotations from some of Pullman's favorite writers, like John Milton, William Blake, and Emily Dickinson.

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      1. Hometown:
        Oxford, England
      1. Date of Birth:
        October 19, 1946
      2. Place of Birth:
        Norwich, England
      1. Education:
        Exeter College, Oxford University
      2. Website:

    Customer Reviews

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    Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted September 21, 2006

      Very Disappointed

      I am a very avid reader, and I usually do not dislike the books that I read, but this one was terrible. I am a Philip Pullman fan (not big enough to have read everything written by him, but I do like some of his books), but I was extraordinarily disappointed by this book. It was very slow, and very dull. I would NOT recomend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted May 15, 2001

      The Unbroken Book- Fantastic Novel by Pullman

      This book was great. It made you feel like you were one of the main character's friends. This book was not only entertaining but you won't want to put it down.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 29, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

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