Mary Clare O’Brian is always on the lookout for a miracle, but with a war in Vietnam, race riots in the city, and turmoil at home, miracles seem to be in short supply.
The politically fervent period of the late 1960s, with its dramatic upheavals in family, gender, social, and religious conventions, comes to life with pathos and humor in this powerful debut. Sixth-grader Mary Clare, the fourth of nine children in a devout Catholic family in smalltown Wisconsin, works diligently to help her harried parents maintain order in their chaotic household. Striving for sainthood and the imagined orderliness of convent life, she corresponds with a mother superior, whose job she desires, because “I’m a leader, not a follower.” While witnessing her mother’s despair at yet another pregnancy, her older brothers’ conflicts regarding the Vietnam War (one wants to enlist early, another applies for conscientious objector status), and adults’ varied opinions on religious leaders’ engagement in the civil rights movement, Mary Clare also struggles for social acceptance among Protestant neighbors, and at school, where she feels shamed for being poor. Ingenuity, keen observational skills, and compassion grant this feisty protagonist growing insight into the complex choices faced by those she loves, as well as her own character and calling. Ages 9 12. (Sept.)
Elizabeth Fixmer has always loved children and writing. During her twenty-five year career as a psychotherapist, she often used literature to help clients delve into issues in their own lives. She returned to school and obtained an MFA in writing for children and young adults. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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Saint Training, Elizabeth Fixmer, (9780310398066) NOOKbook (eBook) – Barnes & Noble
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