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Marsden, John. So much to tell you.

MARSDEN, John. So much to tell you. Read by Kate Hosking. 3 cds. 3.5 hrs. Bolinda Audio. 1987/2005. 1-74093-719-8. $28.00. Vinyl; plot, reader notes. JS *

She sits hunched in corners and hugs the walls while passing between classes. She is horribly disfigured by acid thrown into her face by her own father, whose intended victim was his wife, not his daughter. She does not speak, not to her mother, nor her counselor, nor her classmates. She does not meet your eyes. But she has so much to tell you. She tells her story by writing in a journal provided by her English teacher and we come to know her slowly as year eight progresses at the all-girls boarding school where she has been sent. Dad, of course, is in prison. The eight other girls in the dorm are a mixed lot, but the narrator comes to learn that all families have losses and that each girl has her secret emotions, her mask. Some drink, some fight, and many have divorced parents. Finally the narrator's mask begins to crack when she cries for the first time. She visits her English teacher and his family on weekends. She spends the midterm break with a friend who lives near the prison farm where her father is doing his time. She writes him a painful note. He writes back. She does not hate him and when she visits him she utters her first words: "I've got so much to tell you."

Marsden has written a deeply touching, raw, honest story of a 15-year-old girl who has much to forgive. Hosking reads with intelligence and understanding. Her young voice with its Australian accent is perfect for this suffering but healing teen. Janet Julian, English Teacher (retired), Grafton, MA

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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