Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Friesen, Gayle.
Toronto : Kids Can Press, 2002
ISBN 1553370317

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

It's all falling apart.  Life had been pretty good for Jes.  She had a mom and dad.  She even had a beautiful baby sister.  Then it started going wrong.  Jes feels she is dealing with a shifting universe.  The baby died.  Dad moved out but was still very much in the picture.  Mom spent lots of time with Jes and life wasn't so bad in spite of the problems.  Now, things are getting worse.  Mom has met a man and plans to get married.  How could she do this to Jes.  Cal isn't that bad but it's just going to change things forever.  To make life even more unbearable, Cal's perfect daughter has moved in and plans to stay.  Angela seems to be everything that Jes is not.  Even Jes's friends start hanging out with Angela.  Could things get any worse?

Booktalk #2

Jenís little sister got sick and died and when all was said and done her parents lost their marriage. Everything was broken in Jenís life for a while, but time passes and she lives with her mom and visits often with her wonderful dad, and she still has her 2 best friends and life is moving on. Now her mom wants to marry again. Jen has always blamed her mom for pushing her dad away and she struggles with this evidence that things will never be the same, and with her dadís help is coming to terms with it. Her soon to be step father is a nice man, he just better not try to be her father.  As the story progresses, Jen learns that her step father comes with a step sister, Angela, whois suddenly moving in with them. Jen watches as Angela warms right up to Jenís mom and is way too enthusiastic about helping plan the upcoming wedding and seems in so many ways to be the girl Jenís mom always wanted. Then Angela moves in on Jenís best friends. Things come to a head and it becomes apparent that Angela has a lot of issues herself and is far, far from perfect. And this reality, provides Jen with the needed opportunity to make space for and balance the changes in her life.   (New Hampshire Isinglass nominee, 2010)

SUBJECTS:     Mothers and daughters -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
                        Remarriage -- Fiction.
                        Stepfamilies -- Fiction.


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