Share of Freedom

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With her alcoholic mother frequently incapacitated, 13-year-old Freedom has learned to look out for herself and her younger half-brother, Jackie. Fearing that they will be sent to a foster home after Mama is put in a rehabilitation program, Freedom and Jackie run away. But their bid for independence turns into a fiasco, and the children are soon placed in the home of Martin and Ona Mae Quincy. There Freedom has to share a room with sneering classmate Laura Nell, Martin's niece; Ona Mae is resentful; and Martin, ``the Inspector General,'' never stops criticizing his son, thus earning a negative score on Freedom's father-rating scale. Small wonder that she is horrified when she discovers that Martin is her own biological father. But once Freedom learns the full truth of the past, she stops feeling as though ``the fabric of my life came from somebody's ragbag.'' Narrated by Freedom, Wood's The Man Who Loved Clowns witty and well-crafted novel flows briskly. And, although laced with emotion, it never betrays the gritty sensibilities of its ``smart-mouthed and bullheaded'' protagonist. Ages 10-14. Oct.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Freedom, born on the 4th of July, struggles for love and recognition from her alcoholic mother and to keep their impoverished family together. Never having known her father, she yearns for him. Her world falls apart when her mother is sent away for treatment, and even loving next-door-neighbor Effie can't protect her and her younger brother, Jackie, from social services' intervention. After a week of wilderness hiding, the youngsters turn themselves in to the authorities. They are then taken in by the Quincy family, one of whom is Freedom's arch-enemy, Laura Nell. There's something mysterious here, and Freedom gathers clues that unlock the secrets of her mother's earlier years and finally reveal the identity of her father. In finding her new family, she learns to open herself to others and to accept their faults as well as her own. Wood's novel offers a credible, likable character who yearns for ``the hole in my soul'' to be mended. It is fast-paced and engaging enough to be read as an adventure. Told in the first person, the narrative is natural and contemporary. Even the surrounding characters are multidimensional, adding satisfying layers of complexity to the plot. Pair this fast-paced tale with Paula Fox's Monkey Island Orchard, 1991 for a stimulating comparison of books with similar themes and different resolutions.-Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Chris Sherman
Although Freedom Jo Avery has a lot going for her--she's independent, was the top student in her seventh-grade class, and is a champion speller--problems threaten her small family's existence. Freedom has never known her father, and her mother's refusal to name him has left a gaping hole in Freedom's life. It's her mother's drinking, however, that tears the family apart. A Fourth of July binge puts Mama first in the hospital and then in a mandatory treatment program, with Freedom and her brother, Jackie, eventually ending up in foster care. The foster home where they are placed provides both surprising information and hope for the future. Although Wood's story has a soap-opera-like quality to it, younger teens will sympathize with Freedom, cheer her determination and strength, and enjoy the promising, neatly resolved ending.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399227677
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/27/1994
  • Pages: 1
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 5.56 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2002


    This book was the best! it was great! i defenitly reccomend this book to other people!

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