I, Lorelei

Yeardley Smith, Author . HarperCollins/Geringer $16.99 (339p) ISBN 978-0-06-149344-7

Moments of offbeat humor raise this novel by the actress best known as the voice of Lisa Simpson above the typical story of divorce. Smith adopts a diary format, with 11-year-old Lorelei writing a series of letters to her recently deceased cat, Mud. Tart observations, like Lorelei’s assertion that her brother can be “dumber than a bag of string,” balance her pain at discovering her father’s infidelity and other family problems. Smith’s characters are the best thing about the book: they’re always slightly off the wall, even such minor players as the school bully who threatens to “spread your guts on your front porch so the alley rats can choke on you.” There are missteps (e.g., Lorelei too easily brushes off snubs from her supposed best friend), but the family dynamics are on target, and readers will enjoy watching the heroine develop her own strength as her family reshapes itself. Ages 8–12. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 02/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 352 pages - 978-0-06-173148-8
Library Binding - 339 pages - 978-0-06-149345-4
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-173145-7
Ebook - 978-0-06-197555-4
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