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Book Review

This review was created by the editorial staff at Thriving Family magazine

This drama by Patricia MacLachlan is published by Yearling Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books and is written for kids ages 10 to 13. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Plot Summary

Christian beliefs

Authority roles

Other belief systems

None

Profanity/Graphic violence

None

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Awards

Unknown

Discussion topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics :

  • Grief
  • Death
  • Family Dynamics
  • Each life has significance
  • The importance of expressing emotions

Note: Patricia MacLachlan is an award-winning author (Newbery, ALA, etc.).


Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-
views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

A grieving family finds an abandoned baby in a basket on their driveway and decides to keep the baby until the mother can return for her. Caring for Sophie and then letting her go help the family deal with a death in their family.

Christian Beliefs

A verse from "Amazing Grace" is quoted. However, "Dirge Without Music," a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay that provides a bleak, inaccurate depiction of a grieving person, is also quoted and is pivotal to the plot. Noticeably absent is the presence or comfort of God. The family does not attend church, but a minister presides over a family member's funeral.

Other Belief Systems

None

Authority Roles

Parents and other adults are plainly flawed, but they are treated respectfully. In the early pages of the book, Larkin mentions that her father had two whiskeys before dinner: "He danced . . between the first glass of whiskey that made him happy and the second that made him sad."

Profanity/Violence

None

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

None

Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • Grief
  • Death
  • Family Dynamics
  • Each life has significance
  • The importance of expressing emotions

Additional Comments/Notes

Note: Patricia MacLachlan is an award-winning author (Newbery, ALA, etc.).


Book reviews cover the content, themes and world-views of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

10 to 13

Genre

Drama

Author

Patricia MacLachlan

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Yearling Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books

Released

On Video

Year Published

1995

Awards

Reviewer

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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