Yesterday's Child

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Overview

When her mother dies suddenly, 16-year old Laura becomes obsessed with finding out why the two of them were never close. Her father is guarded about the past, but a class trip to Washington, D.C., gives Laura the opportunity to search for answers in her mother's nearby hometown.

After her mother's sudden death, high school student Laura starts hunting for information about her mother's mysterious past, and in searching, uncovers ...

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1998 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Clean and tight-unused copy-Excellent! ! Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 336 p. Audience: ... Children/juvenile; Young adult. Read more Show Less

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Overview

When her mother dies suddenly, 16-year old Laura becomes obsessed with finding out why the two of them were never close. Her father is guarded about the past, but a class trip to Washington, D.C., gives Laura the opportunity to search for answers in her mother's nearby hometown.

After her mother's sudden death, high school student Laura starts hunting for information about her mother's mysterious past, and in searching, uncovers some terrible secrets.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Judith A. Sheriff
Sixteen-year-old Laura always has quietly wondered about her devoted family's unusual ways, but after her mother's death, she becomes obsessed with questions. Why did her mother frequently retreat into the privacy of her room? Why did she never hold a real job? Why was her father so protective of her mother? And, most important, why was her mother so emotionally distant? Laura's inquiries lead her deeply into the dark mystery of her mother's past and raise fears of the violence she believes lies within herself. Laura's grief is tangible as she deals not only with her mother's death, but with knowing her parents had lied to her for years. While verging on melodrama, Levitin successfully avoids crossing the line. Some of Laura's first-person self-analysis is a bit lengthy, but there are a lot of issues adeptly being considered. In addition to resolving her feelings about her mother, Laura's experiences lead her to consider the effects of peer pressure and to evaluate the meaning of friendship in both her mother's life and her own. The combination of mystery and psychology will propel most thoughtful readers through this intriguing story. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
With her mother's death, sixteen-year-old Laura is left with a silver bracelet and an old picture of her mother with another young woman. Who is this mysterious Megan, and why is there an unfinished letter, in her mother's handwriting, that speaks vaguely of "forgiveness?" Laura's class is going to Washington, D.C., and Megan lives there-we just know Laura's search for the truth about her mother will lead her into danger. Yesterday's Child is a look at a grieving teenager's obsession with her mother's past, and is a real page-turner.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpWith skill and suspense, Levitin unveils a family's dark secrets. After her mother's sudden death, Laura, 16, is determined to discover why the two of them were never close. Searching through her mother's personal possessions, she finds a "Friends Forever" bracelet, a photograph of two teenage girls labeled "Megan and me," and an unmailed letter, written the day before the woman died, addressed to Megan. Laura mails the letter adding an explanation and hopes for a response. She then leaves on a class trip to Washington, DC, drawing close to her mother's hometown of Birch Bend, VA. With her friend Kim in tow or covering for her absence from scheduled events, Laura makes repeated visits to the town looking for the truth. Her obsessive investigation propels her to make a secret, one-day round-trip flight to Toronto to meet Megan. Piecing together the woman's disturbing reminiscences of Laura's mother with newspaper files in the Birch Bend library, Laura makes a shocking discovery: Megan and her mother killed Megan's parents. Laura's gripping quest will captivate teen readers. Although several chance encounters and repeated violations of school-trip rules seem improbable, the two girls create believable alibis. Tension builds steadily as Megan is slowly revealed as a psychopath who will kill again to keep the past buried. The complexities of friendship, loyalty, and honesty are fully explored. Wary of adults but yearning for parental love and understanding, Laura is a daring, resourceful, and introspective heroine.Gerry Larson, Durham Magnet Center, Durham, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Absurd coincidences drive a preposterous story of a girl who uncovers secrets of her deceased mother's past. While on a school trip to Washington, D.C., 16-year-old Laura visits the nearby town of Birch Bend, Virginia, where her mother, then known as Jenny, grew up. There Laura discovers that when her mother and her best friend, Megan, were in high school, they deliberately set fire to Megan's house, murdering Megan's parents. After nine years in prison, Jenny changed her name to Jasmine and left the country to start life anew. Readers will wonder at the amazing holes in the story: Jasmine/Jenny wanted to hide her past, yet let drop the name of the town where she grew up? Megan, so fierce to guard the past that she attempts to kill Laura, hasn't also changed her name? In Laura's self-pitying narrative, the action bounces from California to D.C. to Toronto, the teen dialogue rings false, and the point of view shifts awkwardly, especially near the end. A laughable love story is sandwiched in: Laura falls for evil Megan's quivering son. Cardboard, speech-making characters pop in and out of this unsatisfying mystery, leaving readers so removed from the action that they can't appreciate the unraveling of all that Laura has believed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689820731
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    Yesterdays Child Do you love mysteries? Then I know you¿ll most definitely enjoy reading the novel Yesterdays child. It has suspense, drama, and it gives you plenty of hints that keep you guessing for more. This story teaches you that everything happens for reason, which the main character Laura figures out in the story. When Laura , a down to earth girl that lost her mother in the story, and she only has her father left. She figures out her mother had a secret life behind her before she had died from smoking. Laura¿s mother had helped kill her best friends parents, with her best friend. The mothers friends name was Megan, Laura¿s mother and Megan were young so they got time in a detention program. Laura had to put all pieces of her mothers old life together like a puzzle. She tries to figure out her moms real identity, and her old life. Laura even finds her moms old best friend, which she finds out later that Megan is really crazy. Laura repeatedly thinks back on how her mother use to be, and how she always was to herself. Also how she us she to be a house wife and never talk about her past. This novel maybe have some are a little bit dramatic, but the plot of the story makes you want to read more. Yesterdays Child is obviously fiction, and it has plenty of personal feelings you can relate to parts of your life. I give this novel two thumbs up on the plot, and on the characters personality in the story were very exciting, and encouraging. I really recommend you to read this novel , for it will be a story you¿ll never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2005

    It was great!!!!!

    'Woa' was the word I said when I finished! It was one of the best books I've read. The suspence kept me going from beginning to end, and I finshed it one day! I totally recomend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2004

    All I can say is 'wow'!

    This book is very well-written and deals with issues that need discussing. I highly recommend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2001

    The Best Book In The World!!!

    This Book is the best book I have ever read because it deals with issues that happen in real life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    This book is the best!!

    This book is suspencfull and a mystery. This book is the best book I have read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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