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Michael, Wait for Me

Michael, Wait for Me

by Patricia Calvert

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Calvert's (Glennis, Before and After) story narrated by an intelligent, funny sixth-grader, who first rejects then accepts her older sister's boyfriend, starts out strong then loses steam. Sarah Connelly thinks that her summer is ruined when her sister, Kimberlee, brings yet another boyfriend home from college for an extended visit. However, the first time Sarah lays eyes on Michael Miller ("I had the feeling he was a person nobody ever called Mike"), she knows he is different from Kimberlee's former admirers. The author hints at Michael's secret ("There was a peculiar sad shadow behind the blueness" of his eyes) before revealing that Michael accidentally shot his older brother. She convincingly relates Sarah's resentment for being forced to give up her room to a stranger and the ways in which he disrupts her family's routine. Yet Michael's mix of mysterious and needful qualities prompt Sarah to reach out toward him, much like the shy dog, Bingo, her family is attempting to train as a show dog. Just when Sarah begins to think of Michael as "being folded into the Connelly family forever," Kimberlee has a change of heart. Things then unravel too quickly. Although Calvert painstakingly characterizes the relationship between Sarah and Michael, she neglects to develop much of a bond between Sarah and her sister, so that Kimberlee's about-face goes uncharacteristically undetected by the otherwise sharp-eyed Sarah. A disappointingly rushed ending to a promising premise. Ages 10-14. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Capturing the ups and downs of adolescence requires a delicate touch. Authors who write for the preteen and teenage audience work to achieve the proper balance of those elusive elements--believable characters, realistic situations, readable text, and plots that work magic on readers. Patricia Calvert has proven once again that she can weave these elements into a story that will touch many hearts. In the course of an unforgettable summer, Sarah learns to open her heart to a stranger--and then to pick up the pieces when her heart is broken. If you still have a soft spot for your first love, this is the perfect book for you to share with an adolescent reader. 2000, Atheneum, Ages 12 to 15, $16.00. Reviewer: Carol Lynch
Elevenyear-old Sarah is most unhappy that her older sister, Kimberlee, is bringing her boyfriend home from college to spend the summer. Sarah is irate that she must give up her room to Michael. Unexpectedly Michael turns out to be likeablekind, interested in each family member, and eager to help with the family business of boarding and training show dogs. Sarah slowly becomes fond of him. Nevertheless Michael's life is shadowed by a tragedy in his pasthe accidentally shot and killed his older brother. He cannot accept what happened, and as Kim's love for him begins to fade, he is unable to cope. Sarah tries to help Michael, even asking him to wait for her to grow up, but his agony is too great. As Sarah tells this story, she poignantly expresses her emotions over the wonderful, terrible summer. The dialogue is snappy and the tasks related to training show dogs are well detailed. Kimberlee's character develops through Sarah's eyes just enough to suit the plot. There are a few weaknesses. Foreshadowing is a bit heavyMichael is intrigued by the story of the deep, cold lake covering trees that drowned long ago; he listens to the legend of the Loon Woman whose brother died; and in telling Sarah the story of King Arthur, Michael relates Merlin's prediction that Guinevere will bring Arthur sorrow. Sarah's father's habit of wagging his head seems incongruous for a man working with dogs. Furthermore, must the author connect Sarah's displeasure with her unglamorous name with the looks of a librarian? Nonetheless younger adolescent girls who enjoy reading about family problems or about dogs will find this book absorbing. Purchase for both school and public libraries. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P MJ(Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2000, Simon & Schuster, Ages 12 to 15, 160p, $16. Reviewer: Susan H. Levine

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.69(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.67(d)
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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