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4.5 2
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

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Following the death of her father, a twelve-year-old girl takes a summer job instead of going to camp with a friend as planned.


Following the death of her father, a twelve-year-old girl takes a summer job instead of going to camp with a friend as planned.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Featuring characters as likable and real as those in Nelson's Mayfield Crossing, this story about a grieving African American girl is suspenseful as well as poignant. Nothing can ever be the same for 12-year-old Sheppy after her father dies of cancer. As the bills mount, everyone in her family must pitch in to make ends meet. Her mother takes on a second job, her older brother starts mowing lawns and, instead of going to summer camp, Sheppy begins ``lady-sitting'' for cantankerous Miss Montgomery, a wealthy young woman who has broken her leg. Sorely missing her father and lonely for her friends, Sheppy doubts her father's belief that ``all things are possible.'' But after stumbling across some poems written by her father, she finds the strength she needs to cope with her problems. Readers will empathize with Sheppy, and their hearts will go out to other players in this moving drama: Sheppy's mother and brother, also mourning their loss; Sheppy's friend, Parker, whose mother has run off; and even Miss Montgomery, who carries a dark romantic secret. The well-developed plot includes moments of intrigue, such as Sheppy's daring mission to retrieve some important letters hidden from Miss Montgomery. An affirmation of the power of faith and love. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sue Preslar
Twelve-year-old Sheppy has just lost her father to cancer. She and her family have also lost the optimistic outlook he provided-the possibles. With poetry and books and music, her father had woven a web of dreams for their family that shattered at his death. Sheppy goes to work for the summer "lady-sitting" an ill-natured Constance Montgomery to help out the family finances instead of going to summer camp with her best friend. By helping others see the "possibles" she comes to believe in them again herself. Nelson's background as a children's librarian is evident in this her third children's novel. She uses poetry and references to favorite children's books to show how important literature can be to a child's emotional development. It's a novel you can't put down. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-A gentle, moving novel about loss and healing, this is the story of 12-year-old Sheppy, who is trying to cope with her beloved father's death, just weeks before her graduation from elementary school. She gets a job looking after Constance, the cranky niece of her mother's boss's friend, who is recovering from a broken leg. Predictably, Sheppy and Constance slowly become friends and help one another overcome their respective problems-Constance, 26, is bitter because her strict uncle ruined her marriage and Sheppy feels lost and alone, with no one to help her mourn properly. To make matters worse, she's afraid her older brother is in trouble with the law and a boy she scorned at school has moved and started writing to her. The narrative builds slowly and some of the subplots are nearly pure soap opera, but Sheppy is a sympathetic and affecting main character. Although the fact that her mother and brother avoid talking about the father's death seems a little forced, this is a believable portrait of a close-knit African American family, whose love for one another finally allows them to find a way back to happiness.-Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.48(d)
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Possibles 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Possibles is about a girl named Sheppy who believes in the Possibles until her dad dies from cancer and her family is short on money. Sheppy has to take a summer job as a lady sitter for Constance Montgomery who is very grumpy. Miss Montgomery¿s uncle feeds her what Sheppy calls ¿boring food¿ which Constance wont eat, so Sheppy brings her moms food to constance and gets paid extra for getting constance to eat. While working at the Montgomery house Sheppy gets involved in their family business, Sheppy over hears a conversation in which the Montgomery¿s neighbor asks if she should hide another letter that came for Constance. Sheppy asks Constance about the situation and she asks Sheppy to come over tomorrow to help her find that letters to find out more read Possibles. I liked this book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a happy ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book! When every I go to check out books, my friends are like 'possibles again?' I have read it a zillion times, and so have they. It is really sad how it's a 12 year old little girl who has to overcome the emotions of her fathers death. While doing that she has to give up camp and go 'lady sitting' to earn money to help her mama. I learned a lot from it, it would be cool if we could have this as a lit set instead of the boring books we get. I really think you should read it, no matter what your age.