Defining Dulcie

Defining Dulcie

by Paul Acampora


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From a debut author comes a story of finding oneself in a place all too familiar.

After Dulcie Morrigan Jones's dad dies, her mom decides they need to find a new life in California. But Dulcie doesn't understand what's wrong with her old life back in Newbury, Connecticut. So she heads across country and back home in her father's red 1968 Chevy pickup truck. When she arrives, she meets Roxanne, a girl whose home life makes Dulcie see that her own situation may not be all that bad after all. And as the summer comes to an end, Dulcie realizes that maybe it's necessary to leave a place in order to come back and find out who you really are.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803730465
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/20/2006
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Paul Acampora lives in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.

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Defining Dulcie 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
mschwander on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sixteen-year-old Dulcie has a lot to deal with when her father dies in a bizarre work-related accident and her mother decides that they should move from their CT home to CA. Dulcie decides it's time she takes her life into her own hands and steals her father's '68 Chevy truck and returns back home to her grandfather. This is a refreshly touching story told with humor, imagery and symbolism. All high school students would enjoy this one!
sundancer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was very fast paced... I was surprised how fast I plowed through it. It's about a teen girl whose beloved father dies in a janitorial accident. Her mother moves them from Connecticut to California to escape but Dulcie needs to be home because that's where she feels she belongs. She takes her dad's truck and escapes back to the east coast. For a book that has a truck on the front cover and a back description about a girl running away, the actual running away part only took one chapter!!! The rest of the book either takes place before or after her road trip (mostly after) and the majority of the book is about a friend she meets while on summer vacation. A friend who has a secret that she is dying to tell someone.
TechiMi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Dulcie's Father accidentally kills himself, it's a bit of a shock. When her mother decides to move them off to California, it's more than Dulcie is prepared to take. When she finds out her mother intends to get rid of her father's truck, she officially draws the line: she takes it and drives herself back to Connecticut.Upon arrival, she meets not her grandfather, as expected, but a girl she's never seen before standing in the flowers. Roxanne, who now works for Dulcie's grandfather, knows exactly who Dulcie is, and that her grandfather has been expecting her.The welcome isn't as warm as she had hoped. Turns out taking off and going cross-country as a teen worries your elders. But Frank does agree to let her stay. She even gets her old job back, though as punishment she will receive no pay for the summer. She also has to call her mother. This stipulation is easier to get around: she knows when her mother is going to be at work, and always makes sure to call when she won't be there.Back at work as a janitor, Dulcie makes fast friends with Roxanne, whom Frank has somewhat adopted, as it seems she's not necessarily well taken care of at home. The night Dulcie drops by with her to get fresh clothes on their way to dinner with Dulcie's suprise-visiting mother, Dulcie finds out just how bad Roxanne's home life is. This harsh glimpse at events causes a flurry of actions on multiple fronts, which almost lead to disaster.In the end, Dulcie, who's always known who she is, gains a greater understanding of relationships, friendships, love, and home. Roxanne, who's never had it great, adopts Dulcie's family. While perhaps no one's ended up quite where they expected, they all know they've found their place.An excellent book, worth reading again (and again).
liblor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An adolescent girl loses her father in a freak janitorial accident. Because of their loss, Duclie's mom moves them across the US to California. Dulcie runs away, back to Connecticut where she started, and lives with her grandather. While she's there she meets a strange and wonderful new friend, Roxanne, who helps her learn about who she really is.
Twilight-fan_4life on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I give Kudos to Acampora for writing this book. I think that he did a very good job of depicting the feelings of a teenage girl that is distressed with the death of her father. Not all normal authors can do that. The book was not painful.It flew by kind of fast though in the sense of i picked it up and turned one page and then it was over. It was really nice to read though.It's not everyone's cup of tea but it's still a really good book. those that don't like to read things about people being depicted to the T then you won't like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora, is a story in the point of view of a 16-year-old girl name Dulcie Morrigan Jones. I enjoyed reading this book because it was very fun, exciting, and you never really knew what would happen next. Not only was this book spirited and happy, it has it's hard times and sad moments. I am recommending this book to students currently in high school because I believe that several can relate to Dulcie. Dulcie has been working at her high school along with her father as a custodian; until one day her father mixes two chemicals together and it all goes wrong. When Dulcie faces her father's unexpected death, (like any other teenager), she deals with it silently and wound up inside her. Her mother's solution is to wash away all the sorrows in a small-town in Connecticut, and to move on to bigger and better things in California. Yet, of course Dulcie doesn't like the idea and wants to stay with everyone she knows and loves in her hometown. When Dulcie and her mother arrive in California, she defiantly steels her dad's old pick-up truck and drives across the United States back to her home town. Along the way she stops along various stops to send her mother post cards. I love the way the author describes the scenery that Dulcie is experiencing before her very eyes. This book always interested me by the level of descriptive words used; it painted a mental image in my head every time Dulcie stopped somewhere. When she finally reached sweet home Connecticut, she finds this girl named Roxanne who replaced her position as working as a custodian. Roxanne is really described as unique and spunky. The friendship between Dulcie and Roxanne is strong after Dulcie is exposed to Roxanne's mother. This book has a wonderful basis and is good for anyone who wants to read about different experiences that you can face in High School.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book Review on Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora By: Emily Cashour 9/10/09 Yellows Over the summer, I read Defining Dulcie. I really enjoyed the book because it was fun, quirky, and kept me interested. The book was not long at all, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in quirky humor. However, the book was not just a fun, happy story. There were some social issues, which really sparked my interest. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a story that will keep you laughing. Dulcie is a small-town girl, happy with her life and working at her high school alongside her father. But everything changes when her father mixes two chemicals together and the result is fatal. Dulcie and her mother move to California, but Dulcie is desperate for the life she once had. Dulcie drives her father's old pickup truck back home, and meets an interesting character named Roxanne. After seeing Roxanne's terrible situation at home, Dulcie realizes that her problems are not as bad as she originally thought. I think that this book was a great read. It kept me interested, and the characters were very relatable. I think that it was easy to sympathize for Roxanne and to hope that her problems at home would be resolved. Dulcie was very relatable as well, and I couldn't help but laugh at her sense of humor. She and Roxanne had similar attitudes, and it was always funny when the two of them were together. I think that Defining Dulcie was a great read, and I am satisfied with my choice for summer reading. I feel that the characters in this book were very funny because their senses of humor make me laugh. When Dulcie and Roxanne ask her grandfather if Dulcie can stay, Roxanne jokingly scolds Dulcie about how she could have hit a moose, after Dulcie grandfather finishes scolding Dulcie about what could have happened. "'I didn't hit a moose.' I said. 'Were you even looking?" Roxanne asked. I bit my lip to keep from smiling. 'No," I admitted. 'Well then you're lucky.'" Dulcie and I both care about animals, so when Dulcie goes to see the fainting goats, I can relate to what she thinks about the goats. "I watched the little animals milling about together. Bleating, butting heads, doing things goats do, they looked like a bunch of grade-schoolers on a field trip. 'They are cute,' I agreed." Roxanne is easy to sympathize for because of her terrible home situation. When Dulcie goes inside Roxanne's home, she witnesses a big fight between Roxanne and her mother. "'Stop it!' her mother shouted again. 'No!' Mrs. Soule's hand shot out and socked her daughter hard." I really liked the author's writing style because the comedy of the book made it more fun to read. The plot was very good, and the terrible social issue, I think was resolved in a way that was the best for everyone. I think that the message of this story is a good one, because it recognizes the funny oddities of life and at the same time can be serious about its social issue. I recommend this book to an audience that likes to laugh, but can also understand the issues in this book. I give this book five stars, and hope that others enjoy it as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very good and i enjoyed it alot i never read an this was a book i just couldnt put done :'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Taylor September 6, 2008 Ninth Grader Defining Dulcie Book Review Paul Acampora¿s book Defining Dulcie is a great story that was very well written with a wonderful message. When I started this book I got immediately into it and couldn¿t put it down. In my opinion the author¿s writing style didn¿t seem serious enough in some parts, but in other parts I thought he did a great job getting the message across. Defining Dulcie is about a girl named Dulcie who had just lost her father. After the death of Dulcie¿s father, her mother decides to move to California against Dulcie¿s wishes to stay in Connecticut. When they arrive in California Dulcie decides to steal her father¿s truck and drive back to Connecticut to live with her grandfather. When she arrives back home in Connecticut, she meets a girl named Roxanne and they instantly become friends. Roxanne¿s kind nature and great personality helps Dulcie get over her father¿s death and try be her old self again. Even though child abuse wasn¿t the main topic of the book, I thought that it would be an important topic to talk about considering Roxanne¿s mother abused her. Parents who abuse their children or animals usually have a mental problem which results to abusing someone physically or mentally. Sometimes parents abuse their children because of their lack of parental knowledge or because they were abused as kids. Other parents abuse their children because of alcohol addiction or drug usage. We can prevent child abuse by turning people in we know who is abusing someone. If we don¿t know anyone who is abusing someone or being abused we can always help them by praying for them I thought this book was good because of the message. I thought the author was trying to give through the story. Everyone handles death in a different way and everyone needs help to heal the sadness that people feel when they lose someone. In my opinion I thought that both the Dulcie¿s mother and she were just like each other because they both ran away from their problems. Dulcie¿s mother ran away to California after her husband¿s death and Dulcie ran back to Connecticut. I believe everything in life happens for a reason, even if they are sad and we can¿t explain why they happened. Everything in this book led to another challenge that Dulcie had to face and get through. If some things didn¿t happen then Dulcie would¿ve never met Roxanne and they wouldn¿t have been able to help each other out. I would recommend this book for children fourteen years or older because the meaning of the book should be taken seriously and needs to be understood. Younger children wouldn¿t understand what the book was about and they would probably be a little bored in some parts. This book is great for teenagers that have lost someone they were close to or any teenager who loves reading. After reading this book I would give it a definite four stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora This was a really good book. It was one of the best books I read over the summer. Defining Dulcie is about a 17 year old girl named Dulcie from Connecticut whose father dies and who¿s mother decides to move them all the way across the country to California. Dulcie decides to steal her father¿s car and drive cross country back home. When she gets there she meets a new friend with a big problem. Through her experiences over that summer, Dulcie realizes sometimes you have to get out on your own to really define yourself. This book really makes you think. It makes you realize that your own problems might not be as bad as you thought and that you do not have to be confined to anything. Dulcie says, ¿I thought again about all the lines, real and imaginary, that surrounded me. I was not sure if they were strands in a giant web or huge broad strokes in a picture so close to my face that I could not see it clearly.¿ Acampora¿s writing style really makes you feel like you are there with the characters and like you know them. It made the book feel more real and closer to you. He¿s a great author. The plot of the book was very well thought out. It was not predictable and had some surprises along the way. The characters all seem very real and are all unique and interesting. The message of the story was great. This was an inspiring book that I think everyone should read. It appeals to all ages but specifically teens. I would rate four out of five stars. It is definitely a ¿Must Read¿ book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Defing Dulcey was a great book with many unexpected twists and turns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this. Its an awesome book.