Exercises of the Heart

Exercises of the Heart

by Jan Greenberg

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Roxie remembers when her father was alive and her mother whole. That's what makes now so impossibleno father and endless battles with a mother rendered almost mute by a stroke. She envies her friend Gloria Stern and her family, with their penchant for highly dramatic confrontations, because they communicate. And communication, Roxie thinks, is the one thing she and her mother cannot have. Greenberg's characterizations are carefully delineated as she explores, through Roxie, the cracks in the Stern family facade. When boys enter the scene (Tony for Gloria, John for Roxie), they inadvertantly provide Roxie with the chance to see Gloria in a new light and to view her own mother with respect. The gulf between Roxie and her mother is one that can be bridged only by love; they are denied the opportunity to ever ``hash things out.'' That readers know this with no preaching from Roxie and little conversation from her mother is this story's strength. (12-up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10 Fifteen-year-old Roxie Baskowitz still experiences moments of loneliness from the death of her father three years ago. However it's accepting her mother's present condition that's more difficult: she cannot speak clearly after suffering an aneurysm. This speech impediment embarrasses Roxie and severely hampers communication between mother and daughter. Frustrated and unyielding, Roxie chooses to escape to the home of her friend Glo Stern, where behind the facade of wealth and happiness an overprotective family covers for Glo's alcoholic mother. Roxie's growing awareness and perception of Glo's situation causes their friendship to deteriorate until a note from Roxie to Mrs. Stern forces her attention away from her own problems long enough to help Glo face her own personal crisis. Credible characterization and ample dialogue give strength to this crisis-laden first-person narrative, and Greenberg's fans will empathize with Roxie and Glo in their fragile mother-daughter relationships. Cynthia K. Leibold, Anderson High School, Cincinnati

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.76(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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