How I Saved My Father's Life: (and Ruined Everything Else)

Ann Hood, Author . Scholastic $16.99 (218p) ISBN 978-0-439-92819-9

Hood (The Knitting Circle ; Comfort, Reviews, Feb. 25) may be most recently celebrated for her adult novel and her memoir about grief, but her first YA title is a pitch-perfect comedy. Her subject here is also painful—divorce—but the narrative voice is exquisitely if unwittingly funny while true to the perspective of a child. Eleven-year-old Madeline, who assures readers up front that she's “not even a religious person,” wants to become a saint. Why? She believes that her praying has miraculously saved her father from an avalanche, and with one more miracle she can fix the unintended consequences: her father has subsequently divorced her mother, moved to Manhattan, married a chic pastry chef named Ava Pomme and fathered a baby. Hood takes no shortcuts with any of her characters, allowing them to withstand Madeline's scorn or adulation in all their complexity. Rarely has divorce been shown so astutely from a child's point of view. Ages 11-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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