The Outside Child

Nina Bawden, Author Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $12.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-688-08965-8
Even though her friend Plato calls them both ``outside children'' (children on the ``outside'' of a family, looking in), 13-year-old Jane has been quite happy living with her two eccentric aunts, and seeing her father when his ship is in port. But one day she notices a picture of a young family in his cabin, and discovers that she has a half-brother and half-sister. Outraged that this secret has been kept from her, she and Plato embark upon a spy mission to locate and meet Jane's mystery family. Their efforts throw the delicate balance of her parent-guardian world into a turmoil; Jane comes to realize that her family's problems are not her fault, and emerges with a renewed sense of self-worth. Imbued with simple yet powerful emotions, Jane's coming-of-age in a broken family is thoroughly believable and cheerfully honest. Her journey of discovery and forgiveness covers some rough ground, but the story's spirited style never flags, and Jane's concerns are handled with empathy, heart and humor. Ages 9-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Prebound-Sewn - 232 pages - 978-0-606-05968-8
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-14-036858-1
Hardcover - 978-0-7451-1425-5
Paperback - 130 pages - 978-0-571-24654-0
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