by Alison Acheson
Coteau Press, 2010
$12.95, 256pp, ages 12 – 16
The hardest part of being a teenager is discovering your own identity—both in comparison to and in alignment with your family and friends. This story of Molly Gumley’s coming of age is no different; however, the people who shape her life are certainly a unique group. Molly has a passion for drama and the stage and can’t wait for her drama class to begin. Her grandmother, affectionately known as “Grand,” passed this love on to her with countless tales of the stage and walls covered in pictures of screen stars. After Grand passes away, Molly’s no longer sure of herself. It doesn’t help that she dislikes her last name, either. It’s hard to develop a clear sense of identity when the man who contributed to your name died in a motorcycle accident. Molly’s mother can’t seem to understand her identity struggle and her uncle tries to help but is wrapped up in problems of his own. So is Molly’s best friend, Candace. In fact, all the characters in this novel struggle along their own paths in life.
This is a great read for teens who may be encountering speed bumps on the road of life. Molly’s dream is real and so is her stage fright. Readers will enjoy journeying with Molly as she misses her cue, time and time again, only to finally find the right path and begin to develop her own identity.
Review by Amanda Parker.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s May/June 2011 issue.