September 13, 2012

Trying to fit in

The Onlyhouse
by Teresa Toten

Lucy Vakovik and her mother finally have an onlyhouse: a single, detached family home. Lucy is even more excited at starting a new school where she hopes to make a million friends. But she's so determined to be a real Canadian, that she ends up making a series of really bad choices when she joins the school bully's gang. Comic relief is provided by Lucy's mother, whose poor English and old-Croatian ways embarrass her daughter to no end. But much to Lucy's surprise, people actually like her mother, enabling Lucy to finally accept herself for who she is. At the end, Lucy easily breaks free of the bully's clutches, whose troubled story is not resolved. Despite this minor plot problem, Toten's book is quite good. The action and feelings are genuine, and the setting - 1968 Toronto - is realistically and vibrantly captured. 

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