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This Full Houseby Virginia Euwer Wolff
Synopses & Reviews
Each discovery disturbs the arrangements of the known world, and it is our job to stay alert to all possibilities.
LaVaughn believes she is keeping alert to all possibilities. She has made it through the projects, she's gotten over heartbreak, she's grown up, and now she's been admitted to the Women in Science program that might finally be her ticket to COLLEGE. But the discoveries she makes during her senior year in high school — two girls pregnant, with very few options — disturb everything in her known world. And in an effort to bring together people who should love each other, she jeopardizes the one prize she has sought her whole life long.
When do you know whether you're doing the right thing? What happens when you can't find a way to make lemonade out of lemons? Virginia Euwer Wolff takes on the biggest questions — about life and love, certainly, but also about girls and women, sacrifice and compassion — and has something quite rev-elatory to say about them in this full house.
"Fans of Make Lemonade and True Believer have been eager for the final episode of this verse trilogy, to see where Wolff takes her protagonist, LaVaughn. For a while it seems as if LaVaughn's good heart and tenacity have been cleanly rewarded: she wins a spot in a highly selective program for underprivileged girls planning on careers in medical science. Although focused on her future, she remains acutely aware of others' struggles: her friend Annie gets pregnant; she learns that Jolly, the single mother whose children she babysits, was abandoned in infancy; and she regrets spurning brilliant Patrick ('And I never found out if he forgave me/ for being mean and childish and not noticing I was'). Even Dr. Moore, the inspiring woman who founded the medical science program, turns out to have a blistering secret in her past. Struggling to 'act according to your conscience/ even when you don't want to,' LaVaughn finds herself in murky ethical waters when Wolff contrives a very big coincidence for her to address. The steady, sympathetic characterizations more than compensate for the unlikely plot twist, however, and the trilogy closes warmly, sagely and, yes, even triumphantly. Ages 14 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The final verse novel in the award-winning "Make Lemonade" trilogy follows LaVaughn in her senior year at an inner-city school. To further her dream of attending college, this smart, plucky girl has just completed a summer science program and been selected for Women in Medical Science, an enrichment course at the city hospital. Rumors swirl around Dr. Moore, the instructor. It's said she founded WIMS... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) to help poor girls like herself. It's whispered she had a baby who died. Intertwined with this tale, as intricately as the DNA strands that intrigue LaVaughn, are the stories of characters from the previous books. Jolly, the hard-luck teenage mom, is now working on her GED. Her two children, who are also LaVaughn's baby-sitting charges, relish Head Start and kindergarten. And brainy Patrick keeps slow-talking his way into LaVaughn's thoughts. As she learns more about Jolly's lonely childhood of foster homes and closely observes Dr. Moore, LaVaughn sets out, with Patrick's help, to discover the secrets long guarded by both women. In doing so, she may change their lives forever, for good or ill — and jeopardize her own academic plans. Author Virginia Euwer Wolff packs punch and poignancy into her poetic lines of choices made and regretted and sometimes forgiven. Reviewed by Mary Quattlebaum, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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About the Author
Virginia Euwer Wolff is the distinguished author of six books for young readers. Her books have won the National Book Award, the Michael L. Printz Honor, the Golden Kite Award, the International Reading Association Children's Book Award, the Jane Addams Book Award, the PEN-West Book Award, and the Oregon Book Award, among many other honors. Critics have called make lemonade and true believer, the previous two books in this trilogy, "triumphant" (School Library Journal), "transcendent" (ALA Booklist), and "groundbreaking" (Publishers Weekly). Virginia Euwer Wolff lives and works in Oregon City, Oregon.
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