Out of the Blue

Overview

Never in a million years could Megan have predicted the surprise she gets for her 12th birthday. She first senses something’s up when her organized, never-waste-a-minute mother becomes “this soft, slow person” who sings happy songs. Soon Megan learns why: she has a half-sister. It seems that when Megan’s mother was a teenager, she had a baby who she gave up for adoption. But now she and 24-year-old Natalie have reestablished contact, and Natalie is coming to meet the family. Although Megan’s little sister, Betsy,...
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Overview

Never in a million years could Megan have predicted the surprise she gets for her 12th birthday. She first senses something’s up when her organized, never-waste-a-minute mother becomes “this soft, slow person” who sings happy songs. Soon Megan learns why: she has a half-sister. It seems that when Megan’s mother was a teenager, she had a baby who she gave up for adoption. But now she and 24-year-old Natalie have reestablished contact, and Natalie is coming to meet the family. Although Megan’s little sister, Betsy, is thrilled at the idea of being a flower girl in her new big sister’s wedding, Megan is not as enthusiastic. She grows increasingly resentful and anxious as her mother becomes totally absorbed in Natalie. Even more troubling is Megan’s nagging worry that she can no longer trust her parents. If they didn’t tell her about Natalie, can she ever believe anything else they say? As in her previous works, author Sarah Ellis keenly observes the nuances of relationships within families and the effects of change on those relationships.

After discovering that she has a twenty-four-year-old half-sister, twelve-year-old Megan finds the well-defined edges of her life disappearing into confusion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Canadian author Ellis Pick-Up Sticks refreshes a popular theme about reunited adoptees and birth mothers by exploring how the appearance of a previously unknown sibling affects other children in the family. Megan is sure that her parents are planning a special surprise for her twelfth birthday. But the surprise that Mum shares is her just-kindled relationship with Natalie, the daughter she hasn't seen since she put her up for adoption 17 years ago. Second-grader Betsy is thrilled and can't wait to be the flower girl in her new big sister's wedding. Megan, however, feels resentful and anxious as Mum talks about nothing but Natalie, who, at 24, tends to be dogmatic and self-righteous. More troubling, Megan wonders how, if her parents didn't tell her about Natalie, she can ever trust anything else they say. As in life, nobody is perfect in this searching, thoughtful novel-which makes it all the more satisfying when Megan at last finds room in her heart for each of the members of her family. Ages 10-14. May
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-The shock not only comes out of the blue, but it also casts a blue haze over 12-year-old Megan's perfect life. When her mother announces that she has rediscovered the child she had at 17 and gave up for adoption, everyone but Megan seems thrilled. When Natalie, now a 24-year-old Ph.D student in astronomy, invites the family to be part of her wedding, Mom becomes crazed with catering plans, 5-year-old sister Betsy is excited at being a flower girl, and Dad is supportive. Megan struggles with her emotions, searching for a ``sense of family and self'' at their island cottage, which is filled with generations of memories and serves as a reflective backdrop. When she finds a Japanese fishing float, it becomes a symbol for her confused state and a resolution for her feelings. Finely crafted characterizations convey Megan's resentment, Betsy's precociousness, and Mom's preoccupation with melding present and past. Experience and emotion are interwoven in poignant descriptions like ``she stayed inside herself like peanut butter in a jar.'' Another portrayal of a contemporary family forced to refocus, written by an author who is in touch with real life and relationships.-Julie Cummins, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140380668
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah Ellis

Award-winning author Sarah Ellis grew up in a family that loved to share stories and read books. Passions that lead her to become a children's librarian and eventually to start writing books herself. Ellis's awards include the Governor General's Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award. She lives in Vancouver, B.C.

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