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The Resource The life all around me by Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons

The life all around me by Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons

Label
The life all around me by Ellen Foster
Title
The life all around me by Ellen Foster
Statement of responsibility
Kaye Gibbons
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ Its been four years since orphaned Ellen Foster, whom we first met in Gibbons eponymous 1987 novel, presented herself at the house of her chosen foster mother on Christmas day. For Ellen, now 15, this is a lucky time, centered around the home that Laura provides, school (where Ellen earns money by writing poetry for other students class assignment), and old and new friends. An unwelcome encounter with her aunt Nadine reveals the hollowness of Nadines pretensions, especially compared to the refinements Laura offers. But despite the stability Ellen has found, everyone recognizes that a small North Carolina town isnt the place for a girl of her fierce intelligence. Ever determined to be the mistress of her own fate, she herself sets the stage for the next phase in her life by writing a letter to Harvard president Derek Bok proposing herself as a student. This book lacks the strong story arc of its predecessor, which may make some readers impatient. But Ellen is still a remarkable creation, and her narrative voice, while it has matured and grown more sophisticated, remains compelling and unique. -- Mary Ellen Quinn (Reviewed 09-01-2005) (Booklist, vol 102, number 1, p7)
  • Adult/High School –Now 15, the heroine of Ellen Foster (Algonquin, 1987) continues to tell her story. The sequel begins with a letter from Ellen to Harvard University’s president, asking for early admission. She is making what she calls “an underage change in life.” After the deaths of her mother and abusive father, and shuttling between homes of people who don’t want her, the teen has settled with a woman who takes in foster children. She has chosen Laura as her “replacement” mother, and the woman accepts her role with love. Ellen is precocious, feisty, humorous, lovable, and vulnerable. Her decisions are not always the best, but her intentions show determination. Although her situation is sad, readers never feel sorry for her; they cheer her on, and the story concludes with a happy ending. The first-person narrative is sometimes hard to follow, but Ellen’s strong, colloquial voice paints a vivid, realistic picture.–Sheila Janega, Fairfax County Public Library, VA --Sheila Janega (Reviewed March 1, 2006) (School Library Journal, vol 52, issue 3, p255)
  • In this folksy sequel to the 1997 Oprah pick Ellen Foster , Gibbons's plucky heroine is 15 and hoping for early admission to Harvard on account of "all the surplus living that was jammed into the years." Having survived trauma and tragedy, Ellen has found safety with a loving foster mother. She sells her poetry to underachieving classmates, thereby paying her way to a camp for the gifted at Johns Hopkins, where she realizes she doesn't know "how to feel at home out in the world or at home either." She returns to North Carolina, goes to the fair, negotiates a marriage proposal from her best friend and learns that her aunt has cheated her out of her inheritance. The plot is minimal; the pleasure for fans will be in Ellen's idiosyncratic worldview and signature syntax ("The rhythm of the world out here picks up when the farmer across the road begins plowing.... Crossing the wide ditch and walking... as the ground's being turned over to expose arrowheads, which you may find one or several of, I was getting dirty in the good clothes I shouldn't have been over there in"). Even as good guys falter, readers can trust that all will be right in the end in this extended curtain call for a fondly remembered character. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed October 3, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 39, p46)
  • /* Starred Review */ Twenty years after writing Ellen Foster , an Oprah's Book Club selection, Gibbons returns with a brilliant sequel. Ellen is now 15 and driven to succeed. She and her foster mother, Laura, scrape together enough money to send her to an academic enrichment weekend program at Johns Hopkins University, and she composes an ambitious letter to a professor at Harvard asking him to consider her for admission despite her youth. Yet as she writes poetry to finance her trip to Baltimore, Ellen still clings to her hometown and friends. Gibbons keeps Ellen's voice true to the first novel while allowing her to have matured some since then. The stream-of-consciousness style requires slowing down one's reading to a Southern pace, which makes the book a restful read and calls attention to Gibbons's meticulous language. This book is not to be missed. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/05.]—Amy Ford, St. Mary's Cty. Lib., Lexington Park, MD --Amy Ford (Reviewed December 15, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 20, p111)
  • After six intervening novels (Divining Women, 2004, etc.), Gibbons returns to the eponymous heroine of her first, Ellen Foster (1987), still plucky and brilliant but no longer beset by hard luck.The year is 1974, Ellen, 15 and about to start ninth grade, writes a letter to Derek Bok, president of Harvard University, proposing that she skip high school and head straight there. Although her best friends remain Starletta and the devoted goofball Stuart, Ellen knows she has intellectually outgrown her small southern town. Having been orphaned, lost her grandmother and been thrown out of her Aunt Nadine's house, Ellen now lives with a stable, loving foster mother, Laura. Ellen helps rid Laura of her other, more troublesome foster children by snitching to their social worker about delinquent behavior. Laura then convinces the social worker that she's up to the challenge of nurturing Ellen's fabulous IQ, and adopts her. Ellen's teachers turn a blind eye when she sells poetry homework assignments to her semi-literate classmates to earn the entrance fee to an enrichment course at Johns Hopkins; naturally, she shows up hoity-toity fellow geniuses. Meanwhile, thanks to a note from Derek Bok asking him to check on Ellen, a local Harvard-educated lawyer discovers that he's been duped by the scheming Aunt Nadine. She has forced Ellen's cousin Dora to sign legal papers as if she were Ellen. In fact, Ellen has an inheritance coming. Nadine and the pregnant Dora leave town, but first Dora gives Ellen the box Ellen's mother's left for her. Ellen finds hospital records that tell the sad story of her mother's physical and emotional heartbreak. Ever-resilient Ellen shares her material good fortune with her friends. Then Bok writes Ellen, inviting her to attend summer school and guaranteeing her a place at Harvard in the class of 1981—on full scholarship, of course.Ellen's fortune has improved, but her charm has curdled into self-congratulatory superiority. (Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
138098
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1960-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gibbons, Kaye
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Ellen Foster duology
Series volume
0002
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Teenage girls
  • Foster home care
  • Poetry
  • Domestic fiction
  • Bildungsromans
  • North Carolina
Label
The life all around me by Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
218 p.
Isbn
9780151012046
Lccn
2005014552
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151012046
  • (OCoLC)60419720
Label
The life all around me by Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons
Publication
Dimensions
21 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
218 p.
Isbn
9780151012046
Lccn
2005014552
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151012046
  • (OCoLC)60419720

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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