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A Corner of the Universe
A Corner of the Universe
Author: Ann M. Martin
The summer Hattie turns 12, her predictable small-town life is turned on end when her uncle Adam returns home for the first time in over ten years. Hattie has never met him, never known about him. He's been institutionalized; his condition involves schizophrenia and autism.Hattie, a shy girl who prefers the company of adults, takes immediate...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780439388801
ISBN-10: 0439388805
Publication Date: 10/1/2002
Pages: 208
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

BabyGirlBridget avatar reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I immensely enjoyed this book, that is , until I reached the last few pages. This is a wonderfully written book by a well known young adult author, but beware the ending is all I want to say!
mamadoodle avatar reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 1105 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic book. Have a hanky ready for the ending. A must read for people interested in autism.
reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I used to read the Babysitters club books written by the same author years ago. I saw this and figured it might be good. In this book Ann Martin proved that she is an excellent author, and that she is much more than the babysitters club. I loved this book.
reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 1217 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From Publishers Weekly
Martin (Belle Teal; the Baby-Sitters Club series) hints at a life-changing event from the first paragraph of this novel narrated by a perceptive and compassionate 12-year-old, and set in the summer of 1960. Hattie Owen had been anticipating a summer as comfortably uneventful as all the others ("I just want things all safe and familiar," she admits), helping her mother run their boarding house, painting alongside her artist father and reading "piles" of books. Then Uncle Adam (whom Hattie never knew existed) makes a surprise entrance, turning everything upside-down. Hattie's mother says that Uncle Adam has "mental problems." Hattie's grandparents act embarrassed whenever he is around, and her peers laugh at him. The author authentically conveys the ripples Adam sends through this small town. The heroine is continually amazed by his outlandish antics, moved by his sudden mood changes and secretly wonders if she and Adam might be kindred spirits. Hattie finds adventure and tragedy as well as enlightenment as she "lifts the corners of [her] universe" in order to better understand Adam. With characteristic tenderness and wisdom, the author portrays the complex relationship between the sympathetic heroine and her uncle ("I feel a little like his baby-sitter, a little like his mother, not at all like his niece, and quite a bit like his friend"). Readers will relate to Hattie's fear of being as "different" as Adam, and will admire her willingness to befriend an outcast. Hearts will go out to both Hattie and Adam as they step outside the confines of their familiar world to meet some painful challenges. Ages 12-up.

From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Watching home movies, Hattie looks back over the summer of 1960 and the events that changed her perception of life. The 12-year-old has difficulty making friends her own age, but enjoys the company of an elderly boarder, the friendly cook, and her artist father. Her relationship with her mother is sometimes difficult because they must always negotiate clothing and behavior to suit her wealthy, overbearing maternal grandmother. Suddenly, an uncle whom Hattie has never heard of comes to live with her grandparents because his school has closed. Although she is totally shocked at the existence of this rapidly babbling, Lucille Ball-quoting, calendar-savant child in a man's body, Hattie comes to appreciate his affection for her, his exuberance for life, and his courage in facing society's rejection. When she suggests that he sneak out to join her for a night of fun at a carnival, tragedy ensues. Hattie's narration is clear and appealing. Her recollection of the smallest of behaviors shows that each family member has felt both love and pain for her uncle, but could not express it. As she comes to understand what Uncle Adam meant when he spoke of being able to lift the corners of our universe, she is hopeful that her family can learn to heal and communicate. Martin delivers wonderfully real characters and an engrossing plot through the viewpoint of a girl who tries so earnestly to connect with those around her. This is an important story, as evocative on the subject of mental illness as Ruth White's Memories of Summer.
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reviewed A Corner of the Universe on
Excellent and fast read. Inspiring, sweet, kind. I was pulled into the lives of each character.
reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 45 more book reviews
I love this author's work. She is so much more than the Babysitting Club. This is a hardcover copy.
banana27 avatar reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 12 more book reviews
this book is so so so good! Please read it!
Farmerswife avatar reviewed A Corner of the Universe on + 52 more book reviews
I am a "grown-up" who loves to read young adult literature. This is a great story about a 12-year-old girl who learns her family is not what she has always believed them to be.

Book Wiki

Hattie Owen (Primary Character)
Adam (Major Character)
Leila (Average Character)
Nana (Average Character)
Awards and Honors


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