Everything I Was

Corinne Demas, Carolrhoda Lab, $17.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-7613-7303-2
Thirteen-year-old Irene's world is turned upside down when her father loses his job as an investment banker because of a merger. Her penthouse lifestyle in New York City's Upper West Side is over. Despite her socialite mother's protests and denial about their financial situation, the family put their belongings in storage and move upstate into Irene's grandfather's farmhouse. At first Irene is skeptical and resentful, but she quickly warms up to helping her grandfather in the greenhouse, exploring the cozy barn and making new friendships with a charming family with five kids who live down the road. But Irene's mother is still determined to return to the city, and the question remains: if and when the time comes, will Irene want to go back to her former life? Having written for picture book, middle-grade, and adult audiences, Demas's first book for teens presents an authentic if occasionally precious and melodramatic portrait of country life, economic stress, and the tensions associated with a major life change. Irene's budding independence and inner strength add greatly to this absorbing coming-of-age tale. Ages 11–16. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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