Every Crooked Pot

Renee Rosen, Author . St. Martin’s/Griffin $8.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-312-36543-1

Written in the form of a memoir, this absorbing first novel traces the struggles of a disfigured girl growing up in Akron, Ohio, mostly during the ’70s. A blood vessel abnormality makes Nina Goldman look like she’s recently been punched in the eye. Bullies at school call her “Big Eye–Little Eye,” and although her aggressively optimistic salesman father assures her that “every crooked pot has a crooked cover,” Nina fears she will never be loved. As much as she hates her appearance, Nina also learns early on, “I could use my eye to get out of things, too, and make people do things for me.” Particularly memorable is Nina’s father, a frustrated musician who sells carpet for a living even though he’s color-blind. His efforts to find a cure for his daughter result in endless trips to medical experts and in treatments that turn out to be less than miraculous. As Rosen evokes her setting with a wealth of details, she runs into a trap: the same well-chosen references (to Peter Frampton, the Mary Tyler Moore Show , Beatles lyrics, etc.) that anchor the period and illuminate the characters may also distance teens. Those who remain will empathize with the narrator’s unique situation as a concentrated form of universal worries about finding acceptance, dealing with loss and leaving home. Ages 13-up. (July)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 06/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-957-05-2458-1
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4668-1972-6
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