Room on Lorelei Street Paperback – 30 September 2008
- Paperback : 270 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312380194
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312380199
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.83 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : St. Martins Press-3PL; Reprint Edition (30 September 2008)
- Reading level : 14 - 17 years
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
"Pearson sophisticatedly crafts a quietly cramped, small-town Texas community. All literary elements . . . seamlessly and poetically coalesce." --Kirkus Reviews
"You may not agree with her choices, but you'll think about them long after you finish her story. READ IT." --Teen People
Pearson sophisticatedly crafts a quietly cramped, small-town Texas community. All literary elements . . . seamlessly and poetically coalesce. "Kirkus Reviews"
You may not agree with her choices, but you'll think about them long after you finish her story. READ IT. "Teen People""
“Pearson sophisticatedly crafts a quietly cramped, small-town Texas community. All literary elements . . . seamlessly and poetically coalesce.”—"Kirkus Reviews"
“You may not agree with her choices, but you’ll think about them long after you finish her story. READ IT.”—"Teen People"
"Pearson sophisticatedly crafts a quietly cramped, small-town Texas community. All literary elements . . . seamlessly and poetically coalesce."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"You may not agree with her choices, but you'll think about them long after you finish her story. READ IT."--"Teen People"
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This happens so often in families. Kids are always saying "I'm not going to be anything like my parents." Yet, that's what they know, so that's what they become. And most don't even know it.
The real beauty of this story is that Zoe sees what she's become, acknowledges it, then takes steps to change. She's heading into the unknown, and has no idea whether she'll be okay. But she takes comfort in knowing that this is the right direction.
Such a stunning and courageous message to send to kids. Well done, Ms. Pearson.
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on"
--Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter, "Bird Song"
" 'You going to stand there, or you going to come up and take a look?'
"Zoe jumps, her cigarette tumbling from her fingers into the gutter. Pay stubs and figures disappear from her vision, and she focuses on the person who appeared out of nowhere. A brown grocery bag is in her arms.
" 'Excuse me?' she says to the wild-haired woman she saw in the garden five days ago.
" 'I've seen you here three or four times now. Guessed you were checking out the neighborhood. You must've figured out by now that we don't have any roving gangs around here--a couple folks whose cheese has slid off their cracker but that's about it. So, you ready to see the room?'
"Zoe thinks the old lady's voice doesn't match her attitude. She is assertive, almost snippy, confident in a crazy, old-woman way, but she is smiling, and her voice is soft, lyrical. It reminds Zoe of a bird.
I'm a sucker for cool old ladies in children's and YA literature. No, not just in literature. I also love knowing cool old ladies in the real world. One of my best friends is a cool old lady who raises Nubian dairy goats up in the Sierra foothills.
I think it all goes back to having had some really great teachers in junior high and high school who were of my parents' generation and who taught me so much about life and about their lives from a perspective that was different than what I'd gotten from my own parents. And it must similarly come from growing up working on my dad's construction jobs with all those old tradesmen to listen to. Those lessons continued into my post-adolescence when I returned to school in my thirties to study early childhood education (where I was usually the only guy in the class) and was taken under wing by a wise veteran teacher: an amazingly cool old lady named Teri Isaac.
Last year when I reviewed TENDING TO GRACE, in which a very cool Great-aunt Agatha helps Cornelia find her voice, I mentioned some other cool old ladies I've adored in books:
Gram from Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman cycle.
Grandma Dowdell from A YEAR DOWN YONDER.
Josie Cahill from PICTURES OF HOLLIS WOODS.
Tilly and Penpen Menudo from THE CANNING SEASON.
Not long after reviewing TENDING TO GRACE I got to meet Mrs. Elia Hurd in LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMINSTER BOY. She's definitely another one for the list. (I'd sure love to know her entire life story.)
"Quietly turning the backdoor key,
Stepping outside she is free."
--The Beatles, "She's Leaving Home"
"The lady rummages through her pocket for the key. 'I still have a few things in there, but I can take them out if they don't ka-nish with your ka-nash.' She slides the key into the lock, and the door swings open."
This particular cool old lady is Opal Keats. The room in that house on Lorelei Street that seventeen-year-old Zoe Beth Buckman subsequently rents from Opal is a dream come true for the girl, given what life at home with her alcoholic mother has been. But this is by no means a sweet fairy tale.
Following step by step (or mis-step) on Zoe's path, I can't help but feel the pressure in my own chest as I experience this young woman's determination to make the personal finances work out so that she can both maintain the control and security that the room on Lorelei Street provides her and simultaneously try to fill her stomach and gas tank, pay the transportation fee necessary for being on the tennis team, and cover the million other expenses that unexpectedly arise when Zoe is finally on her own and determined to keep it that way at any cost. With the steep price that is being exacted by a vicious teacher and a decidedly uncool grandmother, Zoe has no room for missteps.
"The breeze reaches her face, fresh and cool, carrying the scent of night jasmine. She breathes it in. She can't let herself care about worn-thin thoughts, because she has moved on. She is in a room of her own with a brass panther, a stone bulldog, a moon, stars, and an indigo sky full of possibility."
I won't soon forget A ROOM ON LORELEI STREET. Curl up in the window seat and check it out.