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Children's LiteratureGetting along with an absent parent is a challenge. Creating a relationship with that parent is often a tough task. Sometimes feelings and stories are created or imagined from the care-giving parent you think you know so well. Vivien, fifteen, was named by her mother for the actress Vivien Leigh from the movie "Gone with the Wind." Vivien's father felt Vivien was in a difficult stage with falling grades in school and an unbearably bad attitude. He sends her to Ireland for the summer to live with the actress mother she barely knows. Vivian hates her father for sending her away and reluctantly goes to Ireland to spend time with her Mom who is on set shooting a movie. The people she meets and the situations Vivien puts herself into provide the readers of this novel with a humorous and heart-warming journey. Getting to know her Mom and forming relationships with other people around her, help Vivien grow up some. This fun novel will address and resolve issues some teen-aged girls might encounter including: single parents, losing a boyfriend, running away, feeling confused, desiring more control, and having a crush on an inappropriate person. Readers can identify with Vivian, especially as she texts messages, somewhat different than reality, to her best friend back home. Parents and school counselors may read and recommend this book for purpose of discussion. 2005, St. Martins Press, Ages 12 to 15.
—Charlotte M. Krall