When JFK Was My Father

When JFK Was My Father

by Amy Gordon
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When JFK Was My Father by Amy Gordon

In February of 1963, Georgia adopts John F. Kennedy as her father, preferring an imaginary but warm relationship with him to the emotional void of her own parents. She has little interest in either studying or making friends at the American School she attends in Rio, but on holiday at the family's beach house, Georgia immediately connects with fellow misfit Tim, who calls himself the Sand Prince and tells Georgia she is his Sand Princess. Shortly thereafter, Georgia's parents split, and she and her mother return to the States, where Georgia is shipped off to the only boarding school that will accept her. Once a leader in progressive education, the Beard School now seems to be merely a repository for girls from wealthy families. Georgia's account of her virtual abandonment at school by her parents and her barely conscious search for a home is both poignant and gently funny. Georgia often hears the voice of the deceased founder of the school, Wilma Beard (who offers surprisingly practical advice). Moving between the tangible world and the one inside her head, Georgia fails to fully engage at school: "For a solid week there was a flurry of testing. It gradually dawned on me that the tests were related to midterm grades....I was shocked." But even as she drifts from the hard facts of reality-it is easier to say that her real father is dead than admit to his lack of interest in her-she looks through the false exteriors of people to see the truth behind them. When the chance comes to escape altogether by running away with the Sand Prince, Georgia chooses the real world at last, discovering that she's more at home at Beard than any other place she's been. The novel is well paced with moments of dramatic tension-as when Georgia is locked in the school's attic by jealous classmates-and is peopled with interesting characters, who are vividly revealed in Georgia's refreshing narrative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141312798
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 07/23/2001
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 7.26(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Amy Gordon has written four books for children. She teaches drama at the Bement School and lives in Montague Center, Massachusetts, with her two sons.

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When JFK Was My Father 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
in the book georgia goes from being a lonley girl defined by others to becoming a strong and reflective person finding a definition of her own - not as j.f.k's daughter or the sand princess but as an artist, as a girl with a soul and place were it can grow.
rockababe45 More than 1 year ago
i first read this novel when i was young, maybe in third grade. i loved to read and i was looking up books about Caroline Kennedy for a school project. i thought this is what it was on but it wasnt. My sister didnt want me reading it because "it was for higher readers" seeing she was reading it for her 8th grade class, i decided to take it one night and finished it all in the same time. it was an amazing story, i continued to read the book for as many days as i could before my sister started to notice. It was just inspiring and taught lessons and morals and the struggle of a child in a broken family. its a good book to enjoy, but i wouldnt recommend it for children under 5th grade because its a difficult story, the only reason i think i got it was because i learned to read at age 2. but if you think you can read/like/understand it go ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although i am not a lover of children's literature this book took my heart and i went on this girl's journey. i think this book is worth reading.