Janey's Girl

( 12 )

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Claire and her mother, Jane, are on their way across the country to visit Claire's grandmother. As they approach the family farm, Claire watches her mother become more and more anxious. Until now, she thought they had an open relationship with a healthy respect for each other's privacy. This trip unlocks the key to the many questions Claire has about their past -- including the identity of her father and the reason her mother never went back home until now. Gayle Friesen's novel Janey's Girl is ...
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Overview

Fourteen-year-old Claire and her mother, Jane, are on their way across the country to visit Claire's grandmother. As they approach the family farm, Claire watches her mother become more and more anxious. Until now, she thought they had an open relationship with a healthy respect for each other's privacy. This trip unlocks the key to the many questions Claire has about their past -- including the identity of her father and the reason her mother never went back home until now. Gayle Friesen's novel Janey's Girl is a coming-of-age story with a twist: Claire's mother is the one who reaches maturity.
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Editorial Reviews

Quill and Quire
Janey’s Girl is a stunning debut by Gayle Friesen of Delta, B.C. The main characters are real — interesting and imperfect. The story does not provide a neat, happy ending. It almost begs for a sequel but as Janey says at one point: “There’s no happily ever after here, Claire. How many times have I told you that?
From the Publisher
In this well-written first novel, Friesen tells an involving story about a girl trying to find out about her family’s past. The author is particularly adept at revealing the many emotions of the various characters. Readers should sympathize with Claire and what she goes through as she learns about her family, makes some important decisions, stands up to her overbearing mother, and comes to know her father and the half-brother she never knew she had.

Claire’s difficult decisions about her life, and her attempts to bring the old family secrets into the light, are balanced by humor and warmth in the dialogue and some fine, lovingly realized characters.

Janey’s Girl is a stunning debut by Gayle Friesen of Delta, B.C. The main characters are real — interesting and imperfect. The story does not provide a neat, happy ending. It almost begs for a sequel but as Janey says at one point: “There’s no happily ever after here, Claire. How many times have I told you that?

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
When 14 year old Claire enters an old-fashioned grocery store in a small town, Smallwood, for the first time, the owner calls to her husband, "Look here, George. It's ...Janey's girl. She's a dead ringer, all right." Claire is both startled and intrigued because she does not really resemble her mother, Janey, so who was the woman referring to? This is just the beginning of a series of mysteries, encounters, memories, and finally, reconciliations that occur when Claire's unmarried mother, Janey, travels with her to visit Claire's rarely seen Grandma, and unexpectedly, Claire's father and half brother. The characterization and evolving relationships in this realistic young adult novel are well done and appealing.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Claire is in for some surprises when she and her mother go to visit her grandmother in Smallwood, British Columbia. The girl has never been to the small town in which her mother grew up, and she has never met her father. Once in Smallwood, Claire tries to find out about her background and why everyone calls her "Janey's girl." It soon becomes clear that a divorced man with a young son who has recently returned to town is her father, and that her mother is still bitter about their relationship, which broke off when she became pregnant as a teenager. In this well-written first novel, Friesen tells an involving story about a girl trying to find out about her family's past and shows her reactions as she meets people and learns more about her heritage. The author is particularly adept at revealing the many emotions of the various characters. Readers should sympathize with Claire and what she goes through as she learns about her family, makes some important decisions, stands up to her overbearing mother, and comes to know her father and the half-brother she never knew she had.-Cathy Coffman, Sunrise Mountain Library, Peoria, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Friesen's first novel is a hymn to the power of forgiveness. Claire, 14, and her mother return to the small town Janey left before Claire's birth and hasn't visited since. Preparing to meet the grandmother she's never known, Claire hopes she'll find answers to old family questions: why Janey hated her father so much that she refused to attend his funeral a year ago; why no one will talk about Claire's father, who apparently never made any attempt to see her or her mother; why Janey left town so precipitously all those years ago with Claire; what's kept her away. But Gran is as tight-lipped as Janey. Claire meets Jamie, the young, leukemia-stricken son of Harold MacGregor (Mac), and instantly likes them both. Bright, charming Jamie turns out to be her half-brother, while Mac is Claire's long-absent father. It's no happy reunion; Jamie needs a bone marrow transplant, but has found no matchþuntil Claire. Claire's difficult decisions about her life, and her attempts to bring the old family secrets into the light, are balanced by the humor and warmth in the dialogue and some fine, lovingly realized characters. (Fiction. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550744637
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Gayle Friesen's previous novels Janey's Girl and Men of Stone have both garnered critical praise. She lives in Delta, British Columbia.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2006

    An Unexcpected Surprise

    Fourteen year old Claire and her mother drove across the country to go visit her grandmother. Claire's mind is filled with questions and thoughts. Why didn't her mother ever talk about her father? Why did her mom leave her parents at an early life? When Clair and her mother arrived at her grandmother's house, Claire jumped out of the car and ran to give her grandma a hug, but not her mother. Jain popped the trunk and got her luggage at of the back. Claire¿s grandmother shows her around the house and then asks if she wants to go take a look up town. Claire asked her mom if she wanted to go but she didn¿t really answer. While up town Claire and her Grandma are looking around and Claire sees her mom just looking at this man. Claire knows there is something about that. Claire finds out that that guy is her father. All her life Claire has dreamed of meeting her father. Claire then realizes that families all have secrets, and real-life relationships can be more complicated than they really seem. I really enjoyed this book. I love how I could see how this could happen to any fourteen year-old out there. And how it would be very hard for them to deal with. I think this booked picked up really good in the beginning to the end. It told the setting, the characters, and the event that was happening. I think this is a really good book that anyone would enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    This is an most exelent book!

    omg, I thought this book was the bom! It had a similar life to mine and I am only in 6th grade and I thought this book was totally- I duno I can't lay a finger on it... its just so manipulating. I makes you just not want to put the book down!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Great book

    This was abook that I read in grade 9, and just a few days ago I though about this book and didn't stop looking until I found a copy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2003

    Very good book

    This book was very well writtened. I may be just a kid but this book can teach you a lesson that you may never expect what is coming. Your own mother can be keeping secrets from you about a father that you may never have met. It is a very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    I love this book

    i had to read a book for some language project and i kept forgeting a book so my teacher told me to talk one form his desk!! i was like o.k... i first read a some pages and thought it was broing but then i was suck in this book makes you want to read more and more i love it soooooooooo much

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    a great book!

    i was just putting books away for our school library and saw the cover. it called out to me, so i checked it out. once i started reading it, i wasnt able to put it down. i read it in less than an hour and has to read it again because i couldnt believe it was over. there has to be a part two!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002

    My Favorite

    I like this book because it is like REAL LIFE and I like to read mostly about REAL LIFE stuff. I think this book was OUTSTANDING because I enjoyed reading it. I liked all the characters, the settings, and the plots. I would read this book atleast 10 times before I get bored of it. I like Janey's Girl alot!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2000

    good but not age appropriate

    This book is on the list for 4-8th graders for the PACIFIC NW YOUNG READERS CHOICE AWARD. While I find this a good book, and happy ending, it most certainly is not for 4th, 5th, or 6th graders. My nine yr. old came home with this and I refused to let her read it. The explicit material is too heavy for these young elementary 'Kid's'. If you are a concerned parent, please review this book yourself before letting your kids check it out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2000

    This is the best book EVER!!!!!

    I guaruntee you will enjoy this book, if not, you will definatly learn something from just reading it!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2000

    Oh My Gosh this book is so good

    This book is so good. There were times where I laughed and times where Ii cried it was just so good. I think everyone should go and read this book. Especially teenage girls because it expresses itself very well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2000

    this is a very very good book!!!!!

    This is a realy really good book i think u shoud buy it or get it form a library it is so good.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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