• Title: The Exiles
  • Author: Hilary McKay
  • Released: 1992-10-30
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 0689505558
  • ISBN13: 978-0689505553
  • ASIN: 0689505558
From Publishers Weekly The four Conroy girls are more than a little disgruntled to learn that instead of their receiving a share of their parents' newly acquired inheritance, the entire 5000 will be spent fixing the house. To add insult to injury, while the renovation is taking place, Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe are "exiled" to the country to stay with their no-nonsense grandmother. In Cumbria, the sisters decide to spend their days buried behind books, but "Big Grandma" has other plans for them: she believes in exercise, and puts forth an endless supply of chores to fill their every waking moment. Like the writings of Beverly Cleary and Lois Lowry, this warmhearted first novel provides an ample supply of chuckles. Readers will be tickled by the children's attempts to evade their canny grandparent and will be touched by the affection that blossoms between generations despite initial clashes of wills. In spite of themselves, the Conroy girls begin to view "Big Grandma" in a more compassionate light while discovering something new about their own potential. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal Grade 4-6-- This episodic tale of four eccentric sisters and their grandmother has potential, but it is never totally realized. The characters are not fully fleshed out; nor are their dealings with one another completely drawn. Set in England's Lincolnshire and Cumbria, the story follows the girls' summer with their grandmother, who is not a favorite relative of theirs. The feeling is mutual. Big Grandma, as the girls call her, considers her granddaughters spoiled and believes they experience life only through reading. They are horrified to find almost no books in her house except for some cookbooks and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare . Big Grandma wants them to discover nature and adventure firsthand and, little by little, they do. Predictably, the summer improves the relationships all around. A clear picture of the woman's attitude about the girls is missing, as is an explanation as to why their Uncle Robert ran away from home. Her reactions to Naomi's broken arm and a fire the children accidentally start seem understated. Although Big Grandma succeeds in her mission to change their perspective on life, a more satisfying selection that depicts the influence of the elderly on the young is Paula Fox's The Stone-Faced Boy (Bradbury, 1982). --Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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