Where I'd Like to Be

Frances O'Roark Dowell, Author Atheneum Books $15.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-689-84420-1
Wrought with the same sensitivity as her debut novel, Dovey Coe, Dowell's quietly affecting novel explores the fragile camaraderie between two 11-year-old girls who are placed in the East Tennessee Children's Home. Narrator Maddie knows there is something special about Murphy the moment the worldly-wise girl arrives. In hopes of sealing a friendship as soon as possible (""When a new kid comes into the Home, you've got to stake your claim quick if you want dibs on being friends""), Maddie, with trepidation, shows Murphy her most prized possession-a scrapbook filled with pictures of houses (""I was afraid she'd say something that would ruin the Book of Houses forever. [People] can take the things you love and twist them around with a few words so you can't bear to ever look at them""). Inspired by the book, Murphy decides they should build a house of their own. The author creates a poignant contrast between the children's rich fantasies, expressed inside the fort, and the sadness that haunts each of them in the outside world. While Maddie dreams of a brighter future, Murphy directs her attention backward, re-creating her history and identity. The author gently reveals the tragedies they have suffered as well as the strength they gain when they are united. A celebration of friendship and of the healing powers of the imagination. Ages 10-14. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-689-87067-5
Prebound-Other - 232 pages - 978-1-4176-4099-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-1573-9
Hardcover - 213 pages - 978-0-7862-5741-6
Prebound-Glued - 232 pages - 978-0-7569-4357-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-58267-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-58266-9
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-7445-8359-5
Prebound-Other - 232 pages - 978-0-606-32673-5
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-3227-2
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