Thursday, October 31, 2002

Brock Cole. The Facts Speak for Themselves. Front Street, 1997.

Recommended Age Range: 13 and up

Plot Summary: When 13 year old Linda is involved in a murder-suicide, she is taken from her family and sent to a group home. While there, she tells her story to her social worker.

Evaluation of Reader Appeal: This book deals with hard issues of sexual abuse, neglect, poverty, and violence in a detached way. The reader is drawn into Linda's world as she relates her life story. The book helps the reader to understand why Linda is the way she is.

Evaluation of Literary Merit: I do not know if I like this book or not. The detached first person narration is very effective at showing Linda's emotional problems. By dealing with the issues in such a detached manner, the book made me kind of numb and I do not really think that is the best reaction to these kinds of issues. If the author's intent is to show that these actions are more commonplace than we think, then the book is very successful. The style also realistically portrays the effect that abuse can have on children.

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