VOYA - Bette Ammon
Fourteen-year-old Beth's family seems fairly typical-her little brother and younger sister are troublesome nuisances, and her parents have high expectations of her. Unfortunately, Beth realizes she never appreciated her family enough after they are all killed in a car crash on their way to a Fourth of July picnic (Beth stayed home recovering from the flu). Beth's only relative is her mother's sister and her family, and moving to their home is Beth's only option. Dealing with crushing grief, missing her best friends and familiar neighborhood, being the new kid in school, and living with her incredibly spoiled cousin pretty much sums up Beth's new existence. Her only friends are Jared, the boy her cousin Teri wants; and Sloan, a rebellious loner. After a hastily-decided trip back to her old house, Beth eventually comes to terms with her loss and her new life.
McDaniel's fans will find familiar territory here. The characters are simplistic, the plot is predictable, and the tragic circumstances will pluck the heartstrings of readers who love crisis novels. Many teen readers love McDaniel's books, so libraries can expect the same will be true for this one as well.
VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects, For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Fourteen-year-old Beth must face adult-sized dilemmas when a car accident claims the lives of her immediate family. Within a few hours, she faces a new family, new house, and a new school. Living with her spoiled cousin only adds to her despair. This story charts the efforts of Beth's caring Aunt Camille and Uncle Jack as they help her through the worst time of her life. Always on the brink of tears, Beth finds the strength of character to make new friends and touch the lives of those around her. Readers familiar with McDaniel's writing will be satisfied with the heart-tugging plot. Those who find tears welling up will be thankful for the periods of built-in respite. The writing, infused with imagery and nuance, lends an air of sophistication to the formulaic story line.-Lisa Denton, J. S. Russell JHS, Lawrenceville, VA
From the Publisher
Six of Lurlene McDaniel's novels have been Publishers Weekly bestsellers, including Angels Watching Over Me and Lifted Up By Angels.
Praise for The Girl Death Left Behind:
"Readers familiar with McDaniel's writing will be satisfied with the heart-tugging plot."
School Library Journal
Read an Excerpt
Beth held her aunt's hand, and Faye went with them. The walk down the hall seemed endless. Once they were inside the small cubicle, Dr. Higdon said, "Please sit down."
"I don't want to sit," Beth said. She was angry at the doctor who'd kept her waiting so long.
"How are my sister and brother-in-law?" her aunt asked. "And their two children. Beth said they were in the accident too."
"Yes," the doctor said. "An ambulance brought in all four of them."
"I--I stayed home," Beth explained, although no one had asked her why she hadn't been in the van. "I had the flu."
"According to the police," the doctor said, "the van swerved from road and careened down a hill, rolled over, and smashed into a tree. The impact was severe. The Jaws of Life had to be used to open the car and extract the passengers."
Beth shuddered. "B-But they're all right, aren't they? You fixed them up, didn't you?"
From the Paperback edition.