THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER by Jerry Spinelli

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Cammie has always been somewhat famous.  After all, her father is the warden at the prison.  And her mother died somewhat dramatically by pushing Cammie’s baby carriage out of the path of an oncoming milk truck.  Cammie has always gotten by with just her dad in their apartment at the prison.  But the year she is about to become a teenager, she realizes her dad isn’t enough.  While her best friend is obsessed with fashion and getting on Bandstand with Dick Clark, Cammie becomes obsessed with honing a mother figure for herself.  The best candidate: Elosha, the prisoner who cleans their apartment.  

Cammie must come to terms with her mother’s sacrifice through experiencing the sacrificial love of others in this historical coming-of-age novel.  Driven by well-developed characters, the novel will grab middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction as well as historical fiction readers. It also has plenty of meat for book group discussions.

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