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Sister Spider Knows All

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Gr 4-6-Rox, 12, can count on one finger what she knows about her mother-her name, Helen. The girl's life consists of her grandmother, Mimi; her 23-year-old cousin, John Martin; and the "Show," a flea market where she helps sell grapes and other odds and ends to make ends meet at home. Then Lucy, John Martin's girlfriend, enters the picture. She comes from money and wants to change the way Rox's family looks at the world. Rox also finds the diary her mother wrote as a teenager and, with Lucy's help, begins to piece together a picture of the woman she never knew. Fogelin captures the fragility of this unique family with a lot of humor and great characters. The secondary figures add a lot to the development of Rox's personality, including the Show, which is a strong motivator in the protagonist's life. Set in Tallahassee, FL, the story has universal themes of coming of age and searching for one's identity. Reluctant readers will like the short, fast-paced chapters.-Shilo Halfen, Chicago Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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