Shadow Girl by Patricia Morrison
This is a sad but powerful book about a 12 year old girl in Canada whose father is an alcoholic, her mother left when she was 4 so it has been just the 2 of them for years. The story starts out with Jules trying to keep her dad happy even when she knows he’s been drinking but no matter how bad it gets Jules still loves her dad. When she is left alone she goes to the shopping center and hangs out in the toy department in Zellers there she meets a very nice salesclerk who lets her play and read and is nice to her, something Jules is not used to. When the sales lady Mrs. Adamson starts noticing something isn’t right with Jules and she gets Jules to admit her dad has been gone over a week so she calls social services and so begins Jules’ journey into the foster care system.
This book started a little slow for me but from page 40 I read over a hundred pages in one sitting and had to force myself to go to bed and quit reading. I felt so bad for Jules the foster home she ends up in is a nice home but the family never makes her feel very welcome and she still feels very much alone, social services does find her dad but his visits are sporadic at best and he doesn’t seem to want to make the changes he needs to make to fix the situation and bring their family back together. The hard part in this story is how much Jules loves her father and just wants to go back to how it was before.
Jules walks through life feeling like a shadow
“To be loved, to be happy, to be cared for, nourished body and soul. These things were never granted to shadows. And that’s what she was—a shadow being.”
You can’t help but care for Jules, I do wish I knew what happened to her after she grew up did her upbringing affect her for the rest of her life especially in her relationships with others? I think this is a good middle grade book that will make kids think and care. I recommend this book for school and public libraries.
I received this book from Librarything Early Reviewers Program for a fair and honest review.