Touching novel about Anastasia, just ten, who deals with her first crush, death of her grandmother, and the birth of her new baby brother (“the rats. So they were going to have a baby”.) She is also thinking for a while of becoming a Catholic, but learning about confession, quickly changes her mind about this. Anastasia is very funny, smart and original, and how her father puts it “mercurial” as well. She loves making lists of things “I hate” and things “I love” and in the beginning of the novel, ‘I hate” list is almost full. As the book proceeds, and Anastasia copes with grandma’s death and disappointment of first love, things “I hate” are crossed and now almost everything is in “I love” list. Lowry created very memorable characters: Anastasia’s funny and intelligent father, understanding mother and grandma living in her memories. The author touched on many topics in this small novel: love and hate, accepting changes, ageing and death. Young girls will enjoy this work because it is written from a 10 year old perspective, and even with adults present in the story, the focus is almost entirely on Anastasia. The pace is fast, and even though written in 1979, the story does not feel dated at all. I absolutely loved Anastasia’s character in this book, and I think she could certainly be one of the best characters created in children literature. I could not help laughing reading this novel: it is full of sweet humor and witty remarks. Suitable for children in 5-7 grades.
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