Fifteen-year-old Jenny Middle struggles to hold her family together despite poverty, constant moves, the jail sentence and drunkenness of her mother, and a sister tragically involved with drugs. This timeless story of growing up forty years ago will be as relevant and moving to girls of today as it was to those who read it when first published under the title Poor Jenny, Bright as a Penny. From the reviews: A complex, grim . . . but finally moving story. . . . When you see what giant obstacles Jenny has to scale, what strength and inner resources she must throw into the effort, life for the rest of us seems suddenly to be lived on Easy Street. New York Times Book Review Though it was designed for . . . 13, 14, and 15-year olds, it kept me from sleep and television the other night. . . . A moving story about a poor urban family whose pattern of life is set by the dyed-haired, beer-drinking mother with a penchant for packing up and moving on when things get tough. . . . Its a good story and, I believe, a story that is true to our times. Atlanta Constitution Balanced and full of suspense, a moving novel that faces desperate situations without flinching. Vanguard Mrs. Murphy doesnt flinch from Jennys grim surroundings or her mothers hopelessly unmaternal behavior. Kirkus Reviews The writing style is excellent, the characterization and dialogue strong and convincing . . . it is realistic, it is candid if depressing . . . [and conveys] the concept that the resilient young can endure in formidable circumstances. Bulletin of the Center for Childrens Books
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March 25, 2011
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