Take Care of My Girl: A Novel

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9780316359139: Take Care of My Girl: A Novel
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Prompted by a school project on the family, Brady is forced to take a look at her own unusual situation and begins a search for her real father.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- Fifth grader Brady is normally full of vim and vinegar. When forced to clean up the mashed potatoes she flung in creative sport, she retaliates in innovative fashion; ``Fishface'' McGill, her teacher, must unravel yards of plastic wrap from around his sports car. But Brady becomes emotionally winded by the thought of the upcoming Parents' Night at school. Her mother died while giving birth to her, and her father faded away years before after being released from the psychiatric ward of the V. A. hospital. Left in the care of her grandfather, who now suffers from emphysema, the child yearns for the return of her idealized father. She tries to ignore the hurt in Jake's eyes when she explains that she must have a father for Parents' Night. Of course, reality doesn't square with memory when Brady discovers her father lives only a short distance away and has a new family. Continuing the theme of child abandonment she explored in Mama, Let's Dance (Little, 1991), Hermes writes movingly of a young girl's search for the meaning of family. The plot is beautifully paced and well constructed. Hermes's description of the hours Brady waits to be reunited with her carelessly tardy father is wonderfully evocative. Equally well drawn is the awkwardness of dealing with a newly met stepfamily. Less successful is the characterization of the father, and many readers will have trouble understanding his motivation. Also, they're sure to wonder what will happen to Brady when her grandfather dies. Perhaps a sequel will fill in the blanks, but as it is, there are some unanswered questions here. Still, the story unfolds with hope and love in a satisfying way.
- Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Brady is embarrassed over her fifth-grade class project dealing with the family unit, especially when a schoolmate proposes a parents' night to celebrate the various projects' conclusion. For Brady's mother is dead, her father is missing, and her grandpa Jake is having a bad time with emphysema. The girl badly wants a normal-appearing family so she won't be self-conscious in school. For Jake, the project offers the chance to talk about what will happen to Brady when he dies. Brady and Jake track down the girl's Vietnam-veteran father, but Brady realizes that, weird or not, Jake is her family and she loves him. Mixing such powerful issues as death with trivial classroom antics, this agreeable but unremarkable novel presents as its message that old chestnut about being to thine own self true. Sassy Brady and her conservative friend Danielle provide comedy amidst Brady's various anxieties, but the disparate elements here never take flight. Ages 9-up.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Patricia Hermes
Published by Little Brown & Co (Juv) (1992)
ISBN 10: 0316359130 ISBN 13: 9780316359139
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Patricia Hermes
Published by Little Brown & Co (1992)
ISBN 10: 0316359130 ISBN 13: 9780316359139
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