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Returnable Girl

Returnable Girl

4.6 3
by Pamela Lowell

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Now thirteen years old, Ronnie has been "returned" from multiple foster homes because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her latest foster mom, Alison, is Ronnie’s very last chance—if she doesn’t want to end up in some awful residential treatment center.


Now thirteen years old, Ronnie has been "returned" from multiple foster homes because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her latest foster mom, Alison, is Ronnie’s very last chance—if she doesn’t want to end up in some awful residential treatment center.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Adolescence is a tough stage for most kids. There is the desire to "fit in" and to be like the other kids, no matter the cost. Having been abandoned by her mother as a young child, fifteen-year-old Ronnie knows about that better than most. She so desperately desires to belong somewhere that she turns against a true friend in order to click with a group of popular girls. She does this despite her better judgment and is witness to the sad results. To further complicate things, Ronnie's fear of abandonment is preventing her from embracing what may be her last chance for a healthy permanent relationship with a foster parent. Ronnie's character is so real that readers will root for her and hope that she makes the right choices. Her circumstances may have been beyond her control, but she learns that faith in humanity can have a positive influence on the future. This book deals with a variety of sensitive issues that many teenage readers will identify with. It is engaging, upsetting, and uplifting, all at the same time.
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Thirteen-year-old Veronica Hartman has lost count of the number of foster homes in which she has lived since her mother abandoned her at age six. Now placed with therapist Allison, who wants to adopt her, Ronnie secretly believes that her mother will overcome her drug and alcohol addiction and send for her. She expects that she and her younger brothers, still living with her mother in Alaska, will be a family again. Ronnie befriends Cat, an unattractive, troubled girl ostracized by other teens at their middle school. Soon beautiful, popular, and selfish Paige shows interest in Ronnie, but entrance into Paige's clique means that Ronnie must abandon Cat. As Ronnie advances socially, Cat, in an attempt to steal Paige's boyfriend, declines into promiscuity. Meanwhile as Allison proceeds with the adoption, Ronnie's mother sends a letter saying that she is about to be released from a halfway house and wants Ronnie back. Ronnie, riding several emotional roller coasters at once, tries hard to find her place. Lowell, a clinical social worker specializing in work with teenage girls, offers a debut novel that rings true. Anger, grief, confusion, rebellion, and finally resolution, acceptance, and love are clearly portrayed in the character of Ronnie as she matures. With its clear, direct language and an appealing heroine, the book is likely to draw a wide range of teen readers, especially girls.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Veronica Hautman is 13 and unsettled. Since her mother left two years ago, she has been in a succession of foster families, including an uncle and a religious but selfish aunt. Now she is living with a new foster mother, a child psychologist who is willing to tackle Ronnie's lying, stealing, and violent outbursts. Through diary entries, the girl relates her conflicted feelings toward, and sporadic long-distance interactions with, her mother; her growing love for and desire to "be good" for the first authority figure to care for her; and a complex peer environment. By creating a truly believable teenage narrative voice and a fully realized cast of characters, Lowell offers an engrossing, well-plotted, and impressive read. Each character, from Ronnie's depressed and self-destructive neighbor to the motorcycle-riding youth minister, struggles with very human challenges and plays a meaningful role in the girl's growth. Difficult issues-betrayal, depression, emotional abuse-are handled without melodrama or sensationalism. Ultimately, the novel celebrates the resilience of both teens and adults, the bonds formed in healing, and the journeys taken in finding and following one's heart. Readers will feel they have traveled the physical and emotional distance with Ronnie, and will find comfort and hope in the story's resolution.-Riva Pollard, The Winsor School Library, Boston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A convincing portrait of a troubled 13-year-old girl lifts this above the level of mere entertainment. Ronnie's drug-addicted and alcoholic mom abandoned her at age 11, and Ronnie has been kicked out of numerous foster homes ever since. She's found a good home with her latest foster mom who wants to adopt her, but Ronnie can't let go of her dream of reuniting with her real mother. Ronnie acts out violently, steals and lies, but worries that she's abandoning an equally troubled friend as she strives for acceptance with the "in" crowd at her middle school. As a family therapist, Lowell knows something about unhappy adolescents. Her expertise allows her to depict not only Ronnie's growing understanding of her situation and those of her friends, but also the reality of her life, all through Ronnie's eyes. Readable and enlightening for girls and their parents. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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Returnable Girl 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Are you a foster child? Well in this book, a teenage girl named Veronica (Ronnie), takes the time and explains to us her problems in school and at her foster home. She tells us what she has to go through each and every day. This book is made for the teenage group because they can probably relate to some of the problems Veronica has. This book is for people with a heart because you should be able to feel Veronica¿s problems and struggles right along with her. In her life everyone thinks she is weird and won¿t give her a chance. Finally she finds someone to give her a chance and be her friend, but that person turns out to be even worse than Veronica. She pulls a gun on one of Veronica¿s friends. The way the book is written is great to. You can always feel emotion at any point in the book. You know when something bad is about to happen. You know when your about to be hit with something really hard. The book makes you want to be a character so you can tell that person not to do whatever their about to do. The voice of the book changed a lot to. It would go from serious to sad and from happy to crushed. It would sometimes go to silly but mostly stayed serious. I find that a good thing because if it was too silly you wouldn¿t take anything in the book seriously. The content and plot of the book was great. They worked together great. The plot gave a lot of information on Veronica¿s problems. You knew where she was left when she was younger and why she couldn¿t go to a place called Lancaster. The plot helped the book a lot because when she went to Lancaster you weren¿t lost on why she didn¿t want to go there. Everything above concludes my reasoning on why this book is recommended for the teenage group and people with hearts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I checked this book out from a public library, expecting it to be pretty good, at least. But I was very surprised of how good it was! I read it in one day straight, and I am now planning on buying it. It is about a thirteen year old girl named Veronica (and goes by Ronnie), who's been switched around in foster care since she was eleven because of her impulsive lying and stealing. Her mother abandoned her at the age of eleven, and took Ronnie's little half-brothers along with her mom's good-for-nothing boyfriend. Now Ronnie's foster mom is lady named Alison, who is also a therapist. But while here with Alison, she gets into plenty of trouble in so many ways. She becomes friends with Paige, a rich, pretty, and stuck-up girl who Ronnie's only friend told her, 'Paige is the bitch of the school. You don't want to be friends with her.' But yet, Ronnie does, and ends up with more than she can handle, being friends with Paige and the popular crowd in public, but secretly, still friends with Cat, the girl Paige told her to stay away from. Later, an oppurtunity for Ronnie arises: be adopted by Alison, or go to Alaska to live with the mother who once abandoned her? Pamela A. Lowell is a very good author, and I would definitely reccomend this book to anyone.