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Weeks, Sarah. So B, It, a novel.

WEEKS, Sarah. So B, It, a novel. HarperCollins. 245p. c2004. 0-06-441047-1. $6.99. JS

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, May 2004: Heidi has had a most unusual childhood. She lives with her mother, who is severely mentally handicapped, in Reno, Nevada. Next door in the apartment house is a loving woman, Bernadette, who takes care of them but suffers from agoraphobia and cannot leave the apartment. Many years ago, Bernadette found the infant Heidi and her bewildered young mother on her doorstep, neither one able to explain who they are. For years, the three of them have managed, using Bernadette's coping skills and Heidi's growing independence and capability. (All the practical details of how this odd trio copes with everyday life are explained throughout the story, and they are quite fascinating.)

Heidi finds an old camera with film in it hidden away in a drawer, and she gets the photographs developed: they reveal a Christmas party, with the name of a place, and Heidi's young mother in one of the pictures--all clues to the identities of Heidi and her mother, who calls herself So B. It. Heidi becomes obsessed with these clues and Bernadette does what she can by telephone to get to the truth. Heidi decides she must travel by herself by bus across the country. Bernadette can't really stop her, so she supports her and monitors Heidi's progress through telephone calls. Once Heidi meets the man who was Santa in one of the lost photos, nothing is easy, because this man doesn't want to help her in any way. Fortunately, through the kindness of the receptionist at the home and the local policeman, Heidi is cared for, and finally the truth about her parents and grandparents is revealed. This belongs with other stories of unusual journeys, literal and figurative ones. Since Heidi is so young (12 years old), and her journey is ultimately one of revelation about her family, I think it can be compared to Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons. An ALA Best Book for YAs. Claire Rosser, KLIATT
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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