cover image Wait for Me

Wait for Me

Susan Shreve. HarperCollins Publishers, $13 (95pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11120-5

Molly Lottmann has always treasured her place as the youngest member of the family. But as she watches her three siblings abandon her for their own busy lives, she wishes she could either turn back the clock or somehow catch up with them. Then, when fifth grade starts, her two best friends are both assigned to a different classroom and start spending time with a new girl. Backed up by her sympathetic parents, Molly stalwartly attempts to make her own way, and discovers that there are some rewards to growing up and moving on. Molly is realistically drawn and emerges with a well-developed personality. While Shreve captures Molly's feelings of frustration and loneliness, her frequent allusions to the title and its message risk adding a didactic overtone to this otherwise appetizing story. Molly's problems may be wrapped up a bit too neatly, but younger readers will find comfort also in the point made by Molly's sister: ``Everything won't change . . . just some things.'' Ages 8-up. (Aug.)