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Children's LiteratureFor many it is hard to imagine a more picturesque setting to grow up in than along the Hudson River. After all, every year thousands of tourists flock to upstate New York to travel on boats down the River, tour its famous mansions, and gawk at its magnificent scenery. It is easy to forget that with all of that beauty, bad things can still happen. For thirteen-year-old Weezie Bloom, the scenery is both beautiful and tragic. Set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the novel spans a year in the lives of Weezie, her three brothers, Sid, Clayton, and Rudy, and their father after her mother has unexpectedly abandoned them. In conjunction with the change of seasons, the book chronicles the change of emotions that tear through this family, as its world has been ripped apart. Told through the eyes of Weezie, it captures the voice of a teenage girl who is forced to develop a maturity and an insight into the cruelty of life she was not expecting. Although not a light read, it is an inspiring one that delicately weaves a heart-felt story. 2004, Penguin Young Readers, Ages 12 to 15.
—Sheree Van Vreede