I Am the Universe

Barbara Corcoran, Author Atheneum Books $13.95 (136p) ISBN 978-0-689-31208-3
Narrator Kit Esterly's first problem is the paper she has to write for her eight-grade English class on who she is. But she doesn't know who she is. Added to that are her mother's incessant headaches that turn out to be caused by a brain tumor, the disappearance of her younger brother Daniel's cat, preschooler Terry's demands for attention and teenage Andy's goofy behavior when he starts dating. Being the ""sensible'' one, Kit has to hold the family together while her mother is in the hospital. The strain takes its toll, and a tension-releasing prank lands her in police custody. But, ultimately, everything works out, and Mrs. Esterly returns home, her healthand Kit's happinessrestored. Corcoran (Face the Music, etc.) has beautifully captured a preteen's teetering between childish blunders and adult insights. A delightful character, Kit is a heroine despite herself. Like many 12-year-olds, she's funny when at her most serious, with wisecracks that come straight from the heart. (9-13)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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