cover image Ellie's Birthstone Ring

Ellie's Birthstone Ring

Beatrice Gormley. Dutton Books, $14 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44969-0

Ellie's seventh birthday is in two weeks, and she ``felt so antsy she could hardly stand still.'' She is finally able to walk to the store with a friend instead of her parents, proving she is as self-reliant as the pioneer girls in the early days. When Ellie spots a beautiful birthstone ring at the store, she is determined to buy it all on her own, once more demonstrating her newly acquired maturity. Though Gormley skirts with themes of independence and friendship here, she fully develops neither. For example, Ellie disposes of the ring at one point; although it originally represents her independence, she decides to retrieve it for reasons unrelated to that motif. In addition, her dilemma regarding a friendship with her neighbor Ruth is never resolved. Superficial characters and an abrupt ending weaken the story's credibility. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-9. (Nov.)