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December 19, 2010

Here Today

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Here Today by Martin: Book Cover

Here Today

Author: Ann Martin

Page Length: 308

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Eleanor, Albert, and Marie appear to be the lucky kids to outsiders. After all, their mother is the glamorous and beautiful Doris Day Dingman. Ellie, the oldest, bears most of the responsibility around her house. Her mother, who insists on being called “Doris”, is always worried about her next public appearance opportunity or her next big opportunity. When their mother runs off to New York but promises to send for them all as soon as she makes it big, the children realize what they’ve known all along – their mother cares more for herself than she does for them. The Dingman kids and their father must come to terms with Doris’ abandonment and their feelings of being the Witch Tree Lane outcasts. Yet through their trials and journey to find happiness again, they discover strengths they never knew they had and a love for each other that is stronger than any adversity.

REVIEW: This book makes for an interesting historical companion for studying the lifestyles and changing roles of women in the 1960s. The reader will admire Ellie’s determination and spunk while sharing in her disappointment in her mother. As the Witch Tree Lane events take place, the reader discovers that its inhabitants are wonderful people and not the “freaks” the socialites at school see. In this novel, a story of love, loss, disappointment, and courage unfolds beautifully. This book would generally appeal more to girls and would be a recommended read for any females struggling with social acceptance, mother abandonment issues, self esteem, and those generally searching to find their place in the world.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: sequence of events, cause and effect, making predictions, character analysis, author’s purpose, making historical connections, narrative style, character traits

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: none

RELATED BOOKS: A Dog’s Life, Belle Teal, On Christmas Eve, A Corner of the Universe, Main Street, The Babysitter’s Club

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/0439579449.asp

http://www.allreaders.com/topics/Info_30093.asp

http://www.babyboomers.com/years/1963.htm

http://teacher.scholastic.com/authorsandbooks/events/martin/teachers_guide.htm

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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