Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
Algonguin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, 1987
Borrowed from the library. Thanks to Wendy at Caribousmom for introducing me to this book.
I have never read Kaye Gibbons before but after reading this little novel, I will have to remedy that.
Ellen Foster is an 11-year-old orphan with an sharp tongue and a feisty personality. Her struggle to protect herself from abusive relatives and find a home where she is welcomed and excepted is written with humor and acerbic wit.
All the arrangements are made they said so why bring me in here and do this in front of everybody like Julia who wants to scream she says. What do you do when the judge talks about the family society’s cornerstone but you know yours was never a Roman pillar but is and always has been crumbly old brick? I was in my seat frustrated like when my teacher makes a mistake on the chalkboard and it will not do any good to tell her because so quick she can erase it all and on to the next problem.
He had us all mixed up with a different group of folks. From page 66.
At the mercy of an uncaring system she manages to find a place where she feels she belongs, learns about her own misguided judgments and finds out what is truly important in her life.
Have you ever felt like you could cry because you know you just heard the most important thing anybody in the world could have spoke at that second? I do not care if the president had just declared war although that is something to think about. I do not care if a thousand doctors had just said congratulations sir you are the father of a bouncing baby something. All that mattered in my world at that second was my new mama and the sound of yes in my ears oh yes Starletta is welcome here. From page 115.
Ellen’s voice seen true to me, even though her situation seems overwhelming for a child her age. She is full of piss and vinegar, a joy to get to know.