Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

Overview


At 15, Tamara has survived the foster care system through brains, will, and attitude. Now close to getting out, she dreams of being a model. First, though, there’s high school to get through, along with her teacher’s latest community project — volunteering at the local seniors home. Tamara doubts she can endure either the residents or the smells. Then she’s assigned to Jean Barclay — a cranky, wealthy, and extremely frail former schoolteacher. As the two warily size each other up, they realize each is the key to...
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Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

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Overview


At 15, Tamara has survived the foster care system through brains, will, and attitude. Now close to getting out, she dreams of being a model. First, though, there’s high school to get through, along with her teacher’s latest community project — volunteering at the local seniors home. Tamara doubts she can endure either the residents or the smells. Then she’s assigned to Jean Barclay — a cranky, wealthy, and extremely frail former schoolteacher. As the two warily size each other up, they realize each is the key to achieving their own very different goals. Miss Barclay wants to attend Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Seattle — a trip doctors insist she’s too weak to undertake. Tamara wants to enroll in modeling school in Vancouver — an expense she can’t begin to afford. Daringly, they plan the road trip of a lifetime — but can these two bossy, manipulative women keep from throttling each other before their goals are realized?
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Tamara, a not-quite-15-year-old foster kid, describes with cynicism her deposit with yet another family. She's anorexic, she's a liar and truant, and she defines herself as a future model. Jean Barclay is a crotchety 89-year-old rest-home resident with a bum hip and a bourbon dependency. Brought together for a school project, each one realizes that the other has something she needs: Tamara can drive Jean to Seattle to see a series of beloved operas, and Jean can pay for a modeling course for Tamara in Vancouver. In alternating first-person narratives, they relate their plan to drive cross country-one to bring closure to a life, and the other to open a door. References to Dickens's Great Expectations and Wagner's Ring Cycle frame the text with some success, but Huser's prose is clunky, and his pacing is labored. The narrative voices are neither distinct from one another nor convincing. Most disappointing is the characters' lack of depth and growth. Both have serious problems (alcoholism, eating disorders) that are oddly made light of. Martha Brooks's True Confessions of a Heartless Girl (Farrar, 2003) and Patricia Reilly Giff's Pictures of Hollis Woods (Random, 2002) are more compelling explorations of the intersection of young and old at differing stages of life's journey.
—Riva PollardCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780888997333
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,428,031
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.05 (w) x 7.01 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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