Mel

Liz Berry, Author Viking Children's Books $13.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-670-83925-4
This winsome tale of self-transformation is a hodgepodge of home renovation tips, grass-roots political activism and modern day fairy tale--complete with a sensitive, rock 'n' roll Prince Charming. Hopelessness and her mother's madness have driven Mel to the brink of suicide. When her mother finally is institutionalized, Mel sees the possibility of creating a new life for herself. Moving in with neighbors, she sets to work cleaning and redecorating her mother's squalid house. On a visit to the local junk shop, she meets Mitch, a rock star hiding from his own fame. By the novel's end, Mel has redone her house, passed her all-important exams, mobilized her racially mixed neighborhood, transformed the junk shop into a thriving antique business, won a tidy sum at the racetrack and, of course, negotiated a romantic relationship with Mitch. All this could easily strain the patience of the most credulous reader. However, the sheer exuberance of the narrative makes it easy to forgive--if not actually believe--the plot's wild excesses. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 219 pages - 978-0-14-036534-4
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