Belle Teal; the Baby-Sitters Club series) hints at a life-changing event from the first paragraph of this novel narrated by a perceptive and compassionate"/>

A CORNER OF THE UNIVERSE

Ann Matthews Martin, Author . Scholastic $15.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-439-38880-1

Martin (Belle Teal; the Baby-Sitters Club series) hints at a life-changing event from the first paragraph of this novel narrated by a perceptive and compassionate 12-year-old, and set in the summer of 1960. Hattie Owen had been anticipating a summer as comfortably uneventful as all the others ("I just want things all safe and familiar," she admits), helping her mother run their boarding house, painting alongside her artist father and reading "piles" of books. Then Uncle Adam (whom Hattie never knew existed) makes a surprise entrance, turning everything upside-down. Hattie's mother says that Uncle Adam has "mental problems." Hattie's grandparents act embarrassed whenever he is around, and her peers laugh at him. The author authentically conveys the ripples Adam sends through this small town. The heroine is continually amazed by his outlandish antics, moved by his sudden mood changes and secretly wonders if she and Adam might be kindred spirits. Hattie finds adventure and tragedy as well as enlightenment as she "lifts the corners of [her] universe" in order to better understand Adam. With characteristic tenderness and wisdom, the author portrays the complex relationship between the sympathetic heroine and her uncle ("I feel a little like his baby-sitter, a little like his mother, not at all like his niece, and quite a bit like his friend"). Readers will relate to Hattie's fear of being as "different" as Adam, and will admire her willingness to befriend an outcast. Hearts will go out to both Hattie and Adam as they step outside the confines of their familiar world to meet some painful challenges. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/22/2002
Release date: 10/01/2002
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FORMATS
Paperback - 189 pages - 978-0-439-38881-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-1670-5
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-29723-3
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-34447-0
Prebound-Glued - 208 pages - 978-0-613-72078-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-8072-1776-4
Paperback - 189 pages - 978-0-439-77124-5
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-6021-7
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-7569-2933-6
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