The World of Daughter McGuire

The World of Daughter McGuire

by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
     
 

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"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

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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."

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375895029
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
12/26/2001
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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