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A Corner of the Universe

Review

A Corner of the Universe

Imagine learning about an uncle you never knew existed. In this 2002 Newbery Honor book, twelve-year-old Hattie Owen meets her Uncle Adam, a mentally disabled man who has been living in an institution that recently lost its funding.

During the summer of 1960, people were less likely to dissect family problems than today, the era of the talk show. Adam was a family secret, but Hattie learns to love him. She was planning a summer of trips to the library and ice cream, but now Adam comes with her. He is closer to her age mentally than most adults and has an endless enthusiasm for new experiences. Hattie loves to go to the carnival and is happy to bring Adam along. But she does not know how to handle Adam when he is out of control, such as when she finds him walking in his underwear through the neighborhood or when he disappears. He also becomes angry when he can't have his way.

Living with someone who is mentally disabled can be confusing at any age. Best-selling author Ann M. Martin of P.S. LONGER LETTER LATER (written with Paula Danziger) and the BABY-SITTERS CLUB series, does a wonderful job of showing the reader the joys and sadness of the experience, as seen through the eyes of likable teen Hattie.

Powerful characters and plot surprises will keep readers interested in this title --- and it is sure to stay with the reader long after the book is closed.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on October 1, 2002

A Corner of the Universe
by Ann M. Martin

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2002
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0439388805
  • ISBN-13: 9780439388801