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Alive and Well in Prague, New York (Laura Geringer Books)
Synopses & Reviews
Matisse Osgood is a New York City girl through and through. She buys her clothes at Andy's Cheapies, watches indie films at the Angelika, and wouldn't be caught dead on a hayride. But when her father gets sick and Matisse's parents decide to leave Man-hattan for a small town in upstate New York, her perfect world crumbles. As Matisse trudges through life in Prague, she dreams of waking up in her apartment on West 78th Street with a father who's well enough to walk with her in Central Park and a mother who doesn't pretend that everything is okay. When rumors surround Matisse at school and her father's symptoms worsen, Matisse realizes that the friends she's making in Prague are the kind you can count on. They help Matisse find the strength to reach out to her father, who may not be as far from her as she thought. And one particular farm boy shows Matisse that country living is a lot more magical than she ever imagined.
"Grab sets her debut novel in a sleepy upstate New York town (named, ironically, after the sophisticated Czech capital to which it bears no resemblance), where Manhattan native Matisse Osgood and her family relocate after her father's Parkinson's disease worsens. Embittered by the move, Matisse is often judgmental, and her preconceived ideas of country living prevent her from appreciating the new surroundings. Her new high school presents a cast of familiar characters: angsty outcast Violet, popular but goodhearted Marco, cruel cheerleader Jennifer and overalls-wearing but intellectual Hal, whom Matisse summarily dubs 'the hick.' When Jennifer spreads a vicious rumor about Matisse's dad, Matisse must confide in those she initially dismissed. Grab does not fully develop some of the more interesting aspects of the novel, such as the flirtatious lunchroom interactions between Violet and Marco, and Hal's troublesome relationship with his parents over his goals. Instead, she focuses tightly on depicting Matisse's withdrawal from those closest to her and the family tensions caused by severe illness. While predictable, Grab's sympathetic portrayal may comfort those affected by sickness and loss. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Matisse Osgood's perfect world crumbles when her father gets sick and her parents decide to leave Manhattan for upstate New York. After rumors surround Matisse at her new school, and her father's condition worsens, Matisse realizes that the friends she's making are the kind she can count on.
About the Author
Daphne Grab grew up in a small town in upstate New York. She has worked at a number of jobs, including teaching high school history, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, and teaching English in China. She also earned an MFA in creative writing at the New School. In 1998 she moved to New York City, where she discovered that she has always been a city girl at heart. She lives there now with her husband and children.
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Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Emotions and Feelings
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Friendship
Young Adult » General