Happy Wednesday, guys!
Today, T and I are honored that we're part of the blog tour for The Warden's Daughter!
This is a gorgeous, wistful tale set in 1959, and is very much a story of its time. Readers will be absolutely moved by the effortlessness of Spinelli's writing, and have no doubt, why he continues to be the leader of the genre.
Published January 3rd 2017 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads
Cammie O’Reilly lives at the Hancock County Prison—not as a prisoner, she’s the warden’s daughter. She spends the mornings hanging out with shoplifters and reformed arsonists in the women’s excercise yard, which gives Cammie a certain cache with her school friends.
But even though Cammie’s free to leave the prison, she’s still stuck. And sad, and really mad. Her mother died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. You wouldn’t think you could miss something you never had, but on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, the thing Cammie most wants is a mom. A prison might not be the best place to search for a mother, but Cammie is determined and she’s willing to work with what she’s got.
Spinelli invites readers back to the 1950s in Two Mills, PA. We're introduced to Cammie O'Reilly, who lives at Hancock Prison as the warden's daughter. It's a lonely and challenging existence, with Cammie trying to find a replacement mother figure in the female prisoners that she meets and befriends throughout, particularly Eloda.
The Warden's Daughter is a beautiful study of the challenges that come with growing up in an isolated existence like the prison, and Spinelli does a thoughtful, heart wrenching job of analyzing Cammie's emotional ups and downs, as she traverses through the challenges of turning the milestone age of thirteen.
While readers will feel bad for the obvious void that she feels in her life, we can also appreciate Cammie's anger and frustrations when she ruminates on the life that she wants, but also still feels so very far out of reach. Spinelli doesn't hesitate to show and be candid with her struggles and her ups and downs, and it brings the reader deeper into understanding how Cammie exists in this very unusual world.
It's a thoughtful study at growth, depression and what it's like to make the best of genuinely challenging situations, set against a fascinating backdrop of a transitional time for the country, as well. Readers will appreciate the nods to Bandstand and the growth of the music scene, and the broader pictures painted in the backdrop of this remarkable book.
Bottom line: Spinelli has written a coming-of-age story that is a study in depression, growth and relationships. It's difficult to read at times, but readers will come out of the book feeling like both Cammie and Spinelli have seen a hidden part of their soul.
Check out this wonderful video featuring Jerry!
Check out the rest of the tour!
January 4: Here's To Happy Endings
January 5: My Brain on Books
January 6: Book Blather
January 9: Bookhounds YA
January 10th: Reviews Coming at YA
January 11th: Project Mayhem
January 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
January 13th: Readers in Wonderland
January 16th: The Cover Contessa
January 17th: YA Books Central
January 18th: Reading Nook Reviews <-- Hello! :D
January 19th: Xpresso Reads
About the author:
JERRY SPINELLI is the author of many novels for young readers, including Stargirl; Love, Stargirl; Milkweed; Crash; Wringer; and Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; along with Knots in My Yo-Yo String, the autobiography of his childhood. A graduate of Gettysburg College, he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, poet and author Eileen Spinelli.