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How I Saved My Father's Life (and Ruined Everything Else)
How I Saved My Father's Life - and Ruined Everything Else
Author: Ann Hood
A twelve year old girl's quest for faith and understanding, in the face of ballet, her parents' divorce, and a move to a new town. — Madeline's struggle to understand the world around her will resonate with readers of all ages. — Ann Hood is the acclaimed author of seven novels and a short-story collection, AN ORNITHOLOGIST'S GUIDE TO LIFE. Her sh...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780439928199
ISBN-10: 0439928192
Pages: 224
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

Twelve-year-old Madeline Vandermeer is on her way to becoming a bona fide saint. Oh, she's not religious or anything, and her family never goes to church, but she's already performed two miracles. The first was when she slid a glass of water across the kitchen table by only thinking about it. The second was when somebody called her name in the middle of the night, and she woke up with a terrible premonition that her father, on a writing assignment in Idaho, was in danger. After spending a day deep in prayer, she learned that he was one of only two people to survive an avalanche.

However, after her second miracle, everything else in her life goes downhill. Her father, now rich and famous from his harrowing experience, divorces her mother, moves into a posh apartment in uptown New York, and marries Ava Pomme, a sophisticated woman famous for her apple tarts. Soon, they have their own daughter, and Madeline and her little brother, Cody, are forced to travel between the two parents.

Madeline adores Ava and the feeling of once again being part of a family, if only for a weekend. How different Ava is from her own boring mother, who cooks disgusting food for her cooking column and embarrasses Madeline just by being there. If her mom hadn't been so ordinary, crying and scatterbrained over the simplest things, then maybe Madeline's father would have stayed. Determined to find some solace from her life, Madeline concentrates on ballet and her journey into sainthood, although that journey may not lead where she expects.

I absolutely gobbled up this book. Even though Madeline's treatment of her mother sometimes disgusted me, I found her reactions, opinions, and character flaws to be incredibly lifelike and endearing. Although I am not religious or from a divorced family, I found this book to be most enjoyable, and highly recommend it to any preteen girl.