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Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead--shot in a holdup--and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in the Los Alamos canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, who can read Davey's "sad eyes." Wolf is the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels. Slowly, with Wolf's help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind and move toward the future? Will she ever stop hurting?
Blume's latest novel begins like many of her personalized, single-problem scenarios, with 15-year-old Davey's father shot to death by robbers at his 7-Eleven store in Atlantic City. Davey can't function for weeks, and it is largely for her that her emotionally and financially stranded mother accepts shelter in Los Alamos with kind Aunt Bitsy and her physicist-husband Walter. Once there, Davey's outsider reactions to Bitsy, Walter, and Los Alamos add dimension to her grief and her recovery. True, we experience no culture shock too strong for Blume's smooth readability; there is nothing subtle about the irony of Bomb City's bland security and weapons designer Waiter's overprotective posture; and Waiter's elitist ugliness is overdone in one violent confrontation with Davey. Also, Davey's chaste but warm relationship with a nice young man she meets in the canyon, plus the coincidence of his father's dying at the hospital where Davey volunteers as a candy-striper, are on the cute romantic level. Nevertheless Davey's lonely struggle to come to terms with the killing, her everyday conflicts with her well-meaning but aggravating aunt and uncle, her impatience with her mother, who finally breaks down and then withdraws from the family, her scorn for the "nerd" physicist Mom dates on her way to recovery, her concern for a high-status but alcoholic school friend, and her assessment of the social structure at the Los Alamos high school--all this takes on a poignancy and a visible edge we wouldn't see had Davey (or Blume) remained in New Jersey. (Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1982)
School Library Journal Review
Gr 7 Up-The most remarkable thing about Judy Blume's book (Atheneum, 1982) is how well it has stood the test of time-it's as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. This is the story of 15-year-old Davey who finds her father shot during a hold-up in his store. Davey and her mother have trouble coping with their violent loss, but when Davey begins to have panic attacks in school, her mother decides to move the family temporarily to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to stay with relatives. Living with her overly strict aunt and uncle makes Davey angry. When her mother starts dating, Davey is furious that her father could be forgotten so swiftly. Davey and her mother are both deep in the grieving process but working through it in very different ways. Too young to work, Davey volunteers at the hospital where she meets an elderly man dying of cancer. When she meets the man's son, their friendship and common sense of loss helps Davey begin to heal. Emma Galvin's narration perfectly voices Davey's escalating emotions and teen angst. A well-told and well-performed story.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.