Amazing Gracie

A. E. Cannon, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15 (214p) ISBN 978-0-385-30487-0
Ever since Gracie was seven and her mother's severe depression caused her to go to the state hospital, it seems the girl's chief function is to keep her mother from being sad. So Gracie should be delighted that her mother is going to marry Pete, but he often seems extremely irresponsible. When Pete moves Gracie, her mother and his own obnoxious son Sinjin from their hometown to Salt Lake City, Gracie's mother sinks into unhappiness, and Gracie must watch after Sinjin and be the adult in the family. Despite its lighthearted title, the novel takes a fairly grim look at dysfunctional families, hard responsibility and the solid value of pursuing one's dreams. Cannon writes about weighty concerns for young people, but with a humorlessness that keeps the characters at arm's length. Her strengths here lie in describing Gracie's maturation and in offering a realistic sense of hope even in the face of serious difficulty. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 214 pages - 978-0-440-21570-7
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