Twelve-year-old Madeline believes she can perform miracles. And her biggest one to date is saving her father from an avalanche. But, unmiraculously, he divorces Madeline's mother after his recovery, writes a book about the avalanche, becomes a celebrity, and marries Ava Pomme, a renowned tart maker.
When he leaves, Madeline is left with her mother, who is slowly coming undone; her hypochondriac little brother, who spends his days worrying about air-bag safety; a house that is falling apart around her; and no clue how to perform the miracle that will fix it all.
Amidst ballet lessons, insufferable recipe experiments for her mother's Family magazine column, and a life-changing trip to Italy, Madeline learns the true meaning of faith and family in this moving novel by acclaimed author Ann Hood.
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Grade 5–7—Madeline Vandermeer wants to become a saint. She's already performed two miracles (moving a glass without touching it and having a premonition of her father's avalanche accident), so she figures she's well on the way—even though she isn't Catholic. She begins attending mass regularly, reads up on the lives of saints, writes to the Pope, and practices suffering. The suffering part is easy: her parents have divorced, and she is no longer able to take ballet class in Boston, an hour's drive from her Providence, RI, home. Also, Madeline harbors anger toward her mother, believing that Dad left because Mom is not sophisticated and beautiful like his new wife, Ava Pomme. However, during a family trip to Italy, Madeline comes to appreciate her mother for being all the things Ava is not. Hood's book is scattered, with minor plotlines trailing throughout. Some are dropped and others solved rather abruptly, but the overall story of Madeline's attempt to reconstruct her life after divorce comes together as she reaches a place of understanding: "This wasn't the life I would have chosen for myself. But I saw that my choices lay ahead of me. In this matter, my parents had decided. They had fallen away from each other, and I would forever be somewhere stretched between them." Hopefully readers won't become lost in the inconsequential and miss the touching story of how one girl deals with the breakup of her family.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
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Book Description Scholastic, 218pp, New York, 2008. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. BRAND NEW. Bookseller Inventory # 003558
Book Description Scholastic Press, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0439928192
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