A Piece of Heaven

Sharon Dennis Wyeth, Author, Andrea Cascardi, Editor Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $14.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-679-88535-1
Wyeth (Something Beautiful; Once on This River) paints a vivid picture of inner-city life but compromises character development to emphasize the downward slide of the heroine's dysfunctional family. The novel opens on the eve of Mahalia Moon's 13th birthday. The cause of Mrs. Moon's chronic depression (which leads to her admission to a hospital on Mahalia's big day) is as vaguely sketched as Mahalia's brother Otis's subsequent involvement in a crime, for which he is arrested. Mahalia fares better than her kin and finds stability in her afternoon job doing yard work for a kindly music teacher. Unfortunately, Mahalia's single working mother and sassy older brother come across as two-dimensional victims. The heroine's relationship with her employer, Mr. Jackson, proves to be the most convincing and moving aspect of the novel, as her effort to clear Mr. Jackson's yard of clutter reflects her desire to create order out of her chaotic home environment. Rather than providing a pat resolution, the author invites readers to experience how Mahalia comes to terms with hardships, lets go of what she cannot change and holds onto dreams of a better life. Those who can get past the overplayed dramas sprinkled throughout the book will find inspiration in Mahalia's personal triumphs. Ages 9-12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
Show other formats
Library Binding - 208 pages - 978-0-679-98535-8
Paperback - 200 pages - 978-0-440-41869-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-24133-5
Open Ebook - 112 pages - 978-0-307-41442-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-1042-6
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-13070-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.