The Trouble with Gramary

Betty Levin, Author
Betty Levin, Author Greenwillow Books $15 (198p) ISBN 978-0-688-07372-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
In the small Maine town where Merkka lives, times are hard for people like her parents who work in the fishing industry. A real-estate developer would like them to sell their waterfront property. But Merkka's grandmother, Gramary, the actual owner, won't be pressured to move. She's a welder and an artist, and she needs the metal scrap in the yard that others find unsightly. On one level, this is a story about Gramary, her integrity, and the comfort she gives Merkka in a world of uncertainties. On another, it's a story about Merkka, trying to understand what grownupswho tuck away their thoughts ``like Christmas presents, wrapped and hidden''are up to. Levin has wonderful insight into Merkka and surrounds her with sharply realized adults. Some of them manipulate the girl; others show more imagination and concern. Although the ending is a bit drawn out, it resolves the issues neatly and is unexpectedly tender. Ages 10-up. (April)
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