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Gregory, Nan. I'll sing you One-O.

GREGORY, Nan. I'll sing you One-O. Houghton Mifflin, Clarion. 224p. c2006. 0-618-60708-0. $16.00. J

Twelve-year-old Gemma has been raised on a farm with other foster children. But now that the farm has been sold, the children are being moved away and Gemma does not want to leave. As it turns out, Gemma is going to live with her biological aunt and uncle and, much to her surprise, her twin brother, Garnet. Not used to this new home and stricken with old, familiar nightmares, Gemma soon devises a plan to return to the farm. She tries to help her brother when bullies attack him, but lands herself in trouble as a "difficult" child. She and her brother appear to have nothing in common, although she feels some sympathy for him when he is required to spend time practicing the piano. As her nightmares become more severe, she is even more determined to return to the farm, but obviously will need some help to do that. Gemma befriends a homeless girl in town, hoping that the relationship will bring about a guardian angel who will reward her by helping her get back to the farm. But she finds herself in trouble instead. Coming home from her brother's recital, she recognizes the monster from her nightmares and with her brother's help, she tries to relive and remember the last time she saw their mother.

The characters are realistically portrayed and are not always likable, but the themes of family and identity are well developed. Gregory's first novel is funny, poignant, and ultimately bittersweet. Janis Flint-Ferguson, Assoc. Prof., English, Gordon College, Wenham, MA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.
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Author:Flint-Ferguson, Janis
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Words:288
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