cover image An Actor's Life for Me!

An Actor's Life for Me!

Selma G. Lanes, Lillian Gish. Viking Children's Books, $15 (7pp) ISBN 978-0-670-80416-0

In this followup to Lucky Charms and Birthday Wishes, Lydia returns to spend the summer with her three aunts. Day camp is troublesome because she is afraid to admit she can't swim. But her aunts, sensitive to childhood worries, release Lydia and her two friends to enjoy the summer on their own. There are swimming lessons for Lydia and picnics at the lake, games with the dollhouse and getting projects off the ground. But there's a serious undertone to Lydia's holiday that McDonnell handles perfectly, with just the right amount of sympathy and realism. Lydia's father is seriously ill, and her letters to himher anchor to her real life and the real worldare funny, questioning and sad. This is a gem of a story, a well-written and fully-faceted reflection of one young girl's life. Lydia's fans will also note that another story is promised at the end. Ages 7-10. (October)