Fiction Kathryn Lasky Pageant

ISBN 13: 9780027517200

Pageant

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9780027517200: Pageant

Sarah Benjamin, a Jewish teenager on the brink of Kennedy's New Frontier, wonders if she can endure four more years of Stuart Hall, Indianapolis's most exclusive, very Christian, and impossibly stuffy school for girls.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up Between 1960 and 1963, when Sarah Benjamin is in eighth to tenth grade at a conservative Christian school, the Jewish girl grows from an eager innocent to a slightly disillusioned young woman, prepared to use her outrage to initiate changein her own life and in the world around her. Readers familiar with the Kennedy era may see some reflections of Sarah's transformation in the national consciousness of the time, which is a major focus of the book. Structured in four parts, each introduced by Sarah's participation in the school's annual Christmas pageant (always as a shepherd), the story takes Sarah from her initial excitement at the pros- pect of Kennedy's election and its promise of new possibilities to the traumatic events in her life during the weekend of his assassination. Along the way, she deals with a prickly relationship with her aunt; disappointing introductions to romantic love; and a growing inability to accomodate herself to the narrowness of her surroundings, most specifically her stuffy school. All of this is managed with wit, a fine attention to the concrete detail of the times (although Person to Person is confused with You Are There), and some good characterizations. The teachers at her school, however, rarely emerge as anything other than cardboard dictators. The structure and writing of the book is smooth to the point of slickness, and, although the story is autobiographical, events seem to be stage-managed to coincide with national attitudes. Older children might enjoy it, but it's hard to believe that anyone's life could end up as an extended metaphor for the New Frontier.Christine Behrmann, New York Public Library
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Lasky, Kathryn
Published by Atheneum (1986)
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