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Overview

"Daughter--that's my name.  Daughter McGuire--I'm eleven."

When Daughter McGuire, her mother, and her younger brothers, Satchel and Jerry Lee, move next door to her grandparents, she's faced with starting over in a new school, making new friends, and keeping clear of troublemakers like the Avengers.  Life would also be easier if her father hadn't run off to Colorado.  If her parents were together again, her ...
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World of Daughter McGuire

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Overview

"Daughter--that's my name.  Daughter McGuire--I'm eleven."

When Daughter McGuire, her mother, and her younger brothers, Satchel and Jerry Lee, move next door to her grandparents, she's faced with starting over in a new school, making new friends, and keeping clear of troublemakers like the Avengers.  Life would also be easier if her father hadn't run off to Colorado.  If her parents were together again, her mother's creepy friend Jim Signet wouldn't be hanging around.

But things pick up when Daughter and her classmates Connie and Anna discover Topknot Cave and start the Explorers Club.  And at school Mrs. Jackson, Daughter's teacher, suggests an exciting family heritage project.  The hitch is that some people think that Daughter's family heritage is too "mixed-up".  According to her family tree she is African-Italian-Irish-Jewish-Russian-American.  One of the Avengers calls her a "zebra", because one of her parents is black and the other is white.  Daughter is so upset, she begins to wonder what she should call herself.

As her project comes together, Daughter learns more about her background and the story of the courageous woman whose name she carries.  Little does Daughter McGuire know that her own courage will soon be tested in a way she had never dreamed of.

Sharon Dennis Wyeth wrote The World of Daughter McGuire because she wanted to issue a challenge.  As she says, "Daughter McGuire's world is by no means perfect.  Parents don't behave the way you want them to and there are cruel acts of bias.  But there is also humor in this world and love aplenty in Daughter, Satch and Jerry Lee's not-so-typical, typical extended family.  I want my readers to make connections in spite of external bias, to celebrate ourselves as individuals in a world where conscience counts more than color."

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Eleven-year-old Daughter, called a "zebra" by a boy at school because she is part black and part white, wonders exactly who and what she is.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW singled out Wyeth's ``compassionate renderings of contemporary families'' in this novel about an 11-year-old who becomes the target of racial slurs as a result of her mixed racial and ethnic heritage. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Eleven-year-old Daughter McGuire's life has changed drastically. Her father has gone off to write a book, she and her mother and brothers have moved next door to her grandparents, and she is attending a new school. Aside from all that, she doesn't quite know who or what she is. Ethnic issues confuse her, as she is of African, Italian, Irish, Jewish, and Russian descent. Through her struggles to find a place for herself (which include facing down a bully, learning about her roots, and coming to grips with her father's departure), she gains confidence and self-esteem. The book deals with serious issues, but the narrator never loses her sense of humor. Her ethnic makeup does stretch credibility a bit, and there are some plot contrivances, but they do not detract from the story. A good choice that might help middle schoolers appreciate differences in people and the value of not always fitting into a particular mold.-Carol Jones Collins, Montclair Kimberley Academy, NJ
Janice Del Negro
Eleven-year-old Daughter McGuire is having a hard time--her parents are separated, she's going to a new school, and she is now responsible every day after school for her eight-year-old brother, Satch. To make matters worse, one of the Avengers a would-be gang with a juvenile-delinquent leader calls her a "zebra," someone who is neither black nor white, a word she knows means someone who doesn't belong to either race. Confused about her mixed ancestry, Daughter is dismayed when a key class project turns out to be about family heritage. As it turns out, the gathering of stories about her African, Irish, Jewish, and Russian ancestors gives her a sense of identity. It also gives her a strong sense of courage, which is put to the test in an encounter with the Avengers' leader. Daughter is a likable character in a believable situation, and her "rite of passage" into her own sense of self is told in an easy, relaxed style that will attract a wide range of readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307549662
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/14/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Sharon Dennis Wyeth grew up in Washington, D.C., where she attended public schools.  She graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  She has written many books for young readers, including the Pen Pals series, Annie K's Theater, and Always My Dad.  She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, Sims, and daughter, Georgia.
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