Hot Best Seller

The Warden's Daughter PDF, ePub eBook

4.6 out of 5
30 review

The Warden's Daughter

Availability: Ready to download

File Name: The Warden's Daughter .pdf

How it works:

1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.

2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)

3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


The Warden's Daughter PDF, ePub eBook From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the "moving and memorable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred) story of a girl searching for happiness inside the walls of a prison. 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 From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the "moving and memorable" (Kirkus Reviews, starred) story of a girl searching for happiness inside the walls of a prison. 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. "Jerry Spinelli again proves why he's the king of storytellers" (Shelf Awarenss, starred) in this tale of a girl who learns that heroes can come in surprising disguises, and that even if we don't always get what we want, sometimes we really do get what we need. "This book is never boring and never predictable. Fame, good and bad fortune, friendship and mental illness all make their way into [Cammie's] narrative."--The New York Times Book Review Praise for the works of Jerry Spinelli: "Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion." --The New York Times "It's almost unreal how much the children's book still resonates." --Bustle.com on Maniac Magee

30 review for The Warden's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Kirkendall

    Oh, this problematic book. I knew we were not going to get along from the moment Boo Boo appeared in the story. What a shameful caricature she is. From the moment she "came bounding and laughing across the yard like a huge denim beach ball," I braced myself for the cringing relationship that played out just as I suspected: the "jolly" black woman who is entirely charmed by the spoiled, kind-of-terrible white girl protagonist, for... absolutely no reason? She promises Cammie every day that the fi Oh, this problematic book. I knew we were not going to get along from the moment Boo Boo appeared in the story. What a shameful caricature she is. From the moment she "came bounding and laughing across the yard like a huge denim beach ball," I braced myself for the cringing relationship that played out just as I suspected: the "jolly" black woman who is entirely charmed by the spoiled, kind-of-terrible white girl protagonist, for... absolutely no reason? She promises Cammie every day that the first day she gets out of jail, she'll return with, of course, a sweet potato pie, because of course she will. One of the details that really dug under my skin was that Boo Boo, who only knows about Sputnik from hearing about it on the radio (not reading about it), *still* mispronounces the name to "Spootnik." This is then how, in quotes, Cammie refers to it, even though she has already proved to us (by correcting Boo Boo) that she knows it's really Sputnik. I suppose we're supposed to see it as an inside joke. It's not. It's condescension. And a twelve-year old white girl's condescension over a fully-grown black woman IS PROBLEMATIC. It would be problematic today. But it takes on even more sinister shades when you consider the book is set in 1959, which brings me to the fact that racial issues are completely ignored by Spinelli in this book. The adult version of Cammie who is supposedly looking back and writing the book -- she pops through a few times -- could have alluded to this. She has so many opportunities. But does she? Nope. Now. Eloda Popka. A) What a terrible character name. I couldn't remember it even while I was reading -- even a page after she had last been mentioned. B) The twist made me snort out loud in disbelief. Because it is literally unbelievable. C) The relationship between Cammie and Eloda is forced and never rings true. I expected Eloda to disappear a few chapters into the book, and was shocked at how she kept popping (popka-ing?) back in. D) I almost threw my book across the room when we got to the diary, which is one of THE LAZIEST NARRATIVE DEVICES EVER. 'Oh, there was no explanation for any of the things I did in this entire book and also I haven't displayed any emotion or really had any personality at all? Mwahahahaha! Read this very convenient diary and you will understand all!' Bah. And now. Cammie. Cammie and her dark, dark sadness, although I never got the feeling that she *was* dark and sad until she herself told me so on page 205. Yes, she wishes she had a living mother, but she just seemed overwhelmingly normal to me -- you know, sad sometimes, happy sometimes? From page 205 ("I was not a happy person") on, though, it's brought up often, as if Spinelli thought there wasn't enough going on so he might as well make her super-depressed -- but he didn't really want to go rewrite all the rest of the book. 'Aha! I know!' he must have thought, 'I'll have Eloda Popka write about it in her convenient diary as well, and then people will *know* it was true all along!' Unnecessary. Yes, sadness is an aspect of her life. Of course. But it's too on-the-surface to just announce she is never happy. (On the other hand, LeGrand's Some Kind of Happiness is a great book with believable middle-grade depression.) Ugh. Not one I'll be recommending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Morris

    “The Warden’s Daughter” is one of the best historical literary young-adult novels I have ever read. I couldn’t put it down. There are some flaws in the novel, with a child protagonist who is extremely limited in her view of others in the world. However, these flaws are intentional and acknowledged by the adult narrator saying they come from memory and may not even be in the correct order. I love that the big stories of the day were related only as to how they affected Cammie. Isn’t that how most “The Warden’s Daughter” is one of the best historical literary young-adult novels I have ever read. I couldn’t put it down. There are some flaws in the novel, with a child protagonist who is extremely limited in her view of others in the world. However, these flaws are intentional and acknowledged by the adult narrator saying they come from memory and may not even be in the correct order. I love that the big stories of the day were related only as to how they affected Cammie. Isn’t that how most of our childhood memories are? Actual awareness about the meaning of that summer came with age. The entire idea of a child living inside of a prison is fascinating. During the time period it wasn’t all that uncommon. What is uncommon is her progressive father. Once again, something only seen in hindsight. The story is a slow-burn that is worth the time and commitment. I think upper middle-graders through adults will enjoy “The Warden’s Daughter” if they have any interest in history or unique childhood situations. Highly recommended! This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    This latest novel from Newbery-winning author Jerry Spinelli has some issues. First, a sixteen-year-old girl is found murdered in the fictional small town of Two Mills, yet it isn't ever mentioned until Chatper 15 (pg 69). Then there's the obsession with American Bandstand, which seems to evaporate shortly after Reggie appears on the show; if anything, her successful performance should have increased her passion for the show. I also have some credibility issues with the set-up. There is no way an This latest novel from Newbery-winning author Jerry Spinelli has some issues. First, a sixteen-year-old girl is found murdered in the fictional small town of Two Mills, yet it isn't ever mentioned until Chatper 15 (pg 69). Then there's the obsession with American Bandstand, which seems to evaporate shortly after Reggie appears on the show; if anything, her successful performance should have increased her passion for the show. I also have some credibility issues with the set-up. There is no way any father is going to allow his twelve-year-old daughter alone in an exercise yard with prisoners. Even if he wanted to (But why would he?), there would be all sorts of rules against it. I worked in the Philadelphia Public Defenders' Office in the early 1990s and routinely had to interview prisoners. There are many protocols surrounding prison visits, even official ones by your attorney's office. And girls in 1959 had much less freedom. The grown-up Cammie looking back intruded upon the younger Cammie's narration. The device of the diary doesn't work for me; we don't gain enough from the diary revelations to offset the lack of emotion from Eloda throughout the novel. For me, the story ends on pg 298. Any additional information the author felt was critical to impart could have been delivered in a 2-3 pg Afterword. But the main issue with this novel is the lack of character depth, and it runs through all the characters. First, the narrator is an unlikable protagonist. While this didn't bother me in other middle grade novels (such as The Great Gilly Hopkins and Flip-Flop Girl), it doesn't work nearly as well here. We are supposed to pity Cammie for growing up motherless, but we never get close enough to her to really feel her pain. The other characters are problematic too. The Warden barely notices or acknowledges what is going on in his own household. Eloda has a completely flat affect. And Boo Boo is a stereotype. But the writing is exceptional and the symbolism is outstanding. I think this book exposes a greater issue within the publishing industry: books by award-winning authors are no longer edited developmentally. Which is really a shame, because this novel had great potential, but falls short on the delivery.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I gave this one a good effort but finally quit after 140 pages. It was just so BORING. And the main character, Cammie, was horribly unlikeable. I understand that not all characters have to be likable, but in the absence of it I usually look for them to be relatable or at least understandable. She was none of these things for me. I honestly have no idea what was driving her or the plot for the 140 pages that I read. The other characters all suffer from the same lack of good writing. I was expecti I gave this one a good effort but finally quit after 140 pages. It was just so BORING. And the main character, Cammie, was horribly unlikeable. I understand that not all characters have to be likable, but in the absence of it I usually look for them to be relatable or at least understandable. She was none of these things for me. I honestly have no idea what was driving her or the plot for the 140 pages that I read. The other characters all suffer from the same lack of good writing. I was expecting a story set in Two Mills to have the same poignancy as Maniac Magee (also set in Two Mills), but I think Spinelli used it as a gimmick to make this non-story palatable. When I dread going back to a book and reading the book makes me hate reading and never want to look at the books on my to-be-read pile again, I know it's not worth it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Gunderman

    Check out this and other reviews (and a really cool video about the book!) on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings! Stargirl was one of my favorite (if not favorite favorite) book that I've read, and I read that one when it first came out in 2000. I was eleven, and made me fall in love with reading. Because that book has always had a special place in my heart, I was super excited to read The Warden's Daughter, by the same amazing author, Jerry Spinelli. I hoped that it would have all Check out this and other reviews (and a really cool video about the book!) on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings! Stargirl was one of my favorite (if not favorite favorite) book that I've read, and I read that one when it first came out in 2000. I was eleven, and made me fall in love with reading. Because that book has always had a special place in my heart, I was super excited to read The Warden's Daughter, by the same amazing author, Jerry Spinelli. I hoped that it would have all of the magic and fun that Stargirl possessed. Even though I'm an adult now, I still love middle grade novels, and this book right here is no exception - it was purely a wonderful and powerful read. "Other kids had mothers. Cammie O'Reilly didn't. End of story." Cammie O'Reilly doesn't have a mother. Her mother died when she was a baby - she was struck by a car, and right before she was hit she managed to push Cammie's baby carriage out of the way to safety. Now Cammie has had to spend her life without a mother, as the prison warden's daughter. While she loves her father, she has been missing out on the kind of love and affection that only a mother can provide. While Cammie is well cared for - her father has "trustees" from the women's section of the prison come up to their apartment and help clean, cook, and look after Cammie, especially during summer vacation when there is no school, Cammie still longs for a mother. So, one day, she decides that she wants the current trustee, Eloda, to be her mother. She spends her entire summer doing her best to get Eloda to pay attention to her, scold her, comfort her - anything that mimics the behaviors of a mother, so she wouldn't feel so alone. However, Eloda doesn't seem to be giving Cammie the kind of attention she is looking for, which is driving her mad. She just wants Eloda to be her mother - and she savors the time she has each day with her while she braids her hair. Cammie also spends time with her friends, as well as down in the prison yard with the female inmates, where she has the chance to interact with them. She becomes especially close to one inmate, named Boo Boo. While she doesn't believe that Boo Boo would give her the type of mother figure that she needs in her life, the two quickly become fast friends,and Cammie finds herself spending a lot of time with her, while still trying to get Eloda's attention. Cammie spends a lot of time riding around on her bike, playing baseball, and hanging out with her group of friends, especially her best friend Reggie, who is obsessed with getting on Bandstand. While Cammie acts tough, she is really falling apart inside. After all, she has never really had the chance to mourn her mother, because she never got to know her. All she knows is that there is a void in her life that a mother should fill, but a mother is one thing that she doesn't have. It's really painful to sit back and watch her ride out her emotions, especially when you can tell she's hurting, and she just tries to brush it off and use anger as a way to get over it. Cammie's character was quite mean in several spots in the book, and the anger she felt about so many things in her life not going right is easy for many to relate to. After all, she has been robbed of having her mother in her life, her father is often quite busy with work, and she's usually left on her own. You can tell that Cammie's emotions were coming from a very deep place within her. There were times when her character was simply unlikable. This made the book even better, in my opinion, because we got to see her real emotions and watch her go through difficult times, struggling in a way that isn't portrayed in a lot of books. Many books have main characters who deal with their pain, but don't often express too many feelings about it. That wasn't the case in The Warden's Daughter - instead, it seems that the author made the character true to herself and her own feelings. The ending of the book, especially the last third, made me an emotional wreck, and because of all the different things that I felt while reading this book, I was able to develop a deep connection to it. Note: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pammycats

    The Warden's Daughter By: Jerry Spinelli I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I really wanted to love this book. Jerry Spinelli is an author always worth reading. This book too is worth the time it just isn't Mr. Spinelli at his best. The characters and plot were perhaps a bit sloppy. Plot: The story centers around and is narrated by Cammie, a 12-year-old girl who lives with her warden farther. We learn fairly early on that Cammie's mom was hit and killed by a milk tru The Warden's Daughter By: Jerry Spinelli I received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I really wanted to love this book. Jerry Spinelli is an author always worth reading. This book too is worth the time it just isn't Mr. Spinelli at his best. The characters and plot were perhaps a bit sloppy. Plot: The story centers around and is narrated by Cammie, a 12-year-old girl who lives with her warden farther. We learn fairly early on that Cammie's mom was hit and killed by a milk truck but not before she pushed her baby buggy (containing Baby Cammie) to safety at the side of the road. Cammie is now cared for by a series of trustees (prison inmates who are trusted). The story focuses on Eloda who is in prison for arson and now is trustee in charge of taking care of Cammie and their apartment. Over the course of the summer, the reader can feel the tension growing as Cammie tries to fill the void left by her mother's death by escalating mayhem. She does eventually comes to terms with this loss. The growing stress is well done and is palpable. The ending of the book annoyed me more than a little bit. Cammie has been through a cathartic experience. She has faced her past and her mother's death and now can finally move forward. At this stage in the book, a miracle happens (yes, this is sarcasm). All the tension from Cammie and her world has been released. She is now happy, friendly, and popular. All her relationships can now bloom and grow. I'm sorry but this just felt too much like saying, "... and they all lived happily ever after". We even have a chapter four years later where Cammie and her Dad laugh about her difficult phase. It just was too simplistic and felt like sloppy (easy out) writing to me. Please Mr. Spinelli, I expected better from you! Location: I loved that this story takes place at a prison. The title of the book comes from the fact that Cammie lives in the prison where her father is warden. The prison itself is a major component of the story. It is a large, heavily present castle-like structure. She lives in the prison (in a castle no less) and is also in a prison within herself (see the picture on the cover). We learn all sorts of details - like historical notes about the "hole". At the end of the book, when Grandma Cammie and her 12-year-old granddaughter visit the old prison together, they find it has been transformed. It is still a castle made of heavy stone but now it is filled with gardens, butterflies, and laughIng children. In this sense, the building mirrors Cammie's emotional state. Characters: Mr. Spinelli creates a realistic 12-year-old. She has lived in a very isolated world where she is the darling pet of everyone. She is boringly sarcastic, entitled, and selfish. Yes, she is not very likable but yes, she is very much real. As a middle-school teacher my heart went out to her. Girls this age are so fragile as they try to solidify who they are and what they want to be. In other words, she is annoying but vulnerable. I appreciated a character like Cammie. Now, on to the other characters. These were much more problematic for me. Dad: Her Dad is kind but very one-dimensional. We don't see much of him. In the final chapters, the reader does see more of him as a human. Boo Boo: Well Boo Boo - what can I say about Boo Boo? She is an obese, jolly Black woman who forges a bond with the warden's (master's?) daughter. You make the cognitive leap. Andrew: Andrew is another black character in this book. Again, there are no discussions about black/ white issues, etc., even from the perspective of adulthood. This book isn't about race but it does take place in 1959 so it feels slightly narrow-sighted to not weave this into the narrative. It's like the giant white elephant in the room that no one is talking about. Eloda: this character is my number one annoyance. All through the book we only see her through Cammie's eyes. We see her actions but very few emotions. Finally, at the end, we have a chapter (in diary form) showing all of her thoughts and emotions - granted in a very truncated form. I loved finally getting to see her motivation and thoughts but at the same time it was too little too late. The device was awkward and required me to review passages in the book to match up the storyline. Also, in the book, Cammie decides to invite her friends to a birthday party after their snowball fight. Eloda brings it up well beforehand in her diary. In Conclusion: This book has problems but is worth reading. The characterization of Cammie and the tremendous force exerted on her life by the unhappiness of losing her mother is worth exploring and thinking about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tena Edlin

    Oh, what a beautiful book. I had tears so many times today as I read. The writing is divine, and the whole thing has so much feeling. My heart broke for poor Cammie all through the book. She was so full of hurt and had no way to fix it, at least no way that she could see. But this book says it best... "All will be revealed." Loved it. Want a taste of the writing? Here is the description of the fireworks: "Without warning came a deep, concussive thump and a whistling into the night, a plasticky cr Oh, what a beautiful book. I had tears so many times today as I read. The writing is divine, and the whole thing has so much feeling. My heart broke for poor Cammie all through the book. She was so full of hurt and had no way to fix it, at least no way that she could see. But this book says it best... "All will be revealed." Loved it. Want a taste of the writing? Here is the description of the fireworks: "Without warning came a deep, concussive thump and a whistling into the night, a plasticky crinkle above the trees - 'There!' ... 'There!' - and red, white, and blue pearls, pulpy as pomegranate seeds, canopied over the wonder-struck faces and spilled down over the park." Beautiful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    A fond memory of mine in middle school was when my English teacher read us chapters of STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli every day. STARGIRL was an interesting, unique read that made me think, and THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER affected me similarly. Cammie, the main character, is not exactly easy to get along with but she definitely grows on you. Once you find out more about her story I think everyone could manage to sympathize with her a bit. The other characters were a little harder to connect with, but it’s A fond memory of mine in middle school was when my English teacher read us chapters of STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli every day. STARGIRL was an interesting, unique read that made me think, and THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER affected me similarly. Cammie, the main character, is not exactly easy to get along with but she definitely grows on you. Once you find out more about her story I think everyone could manage to sympathize with her a bit. The other characters were a little harder to connect with, but it’s interesting to see how each one of them affects Cammie, especially when she looks back on the past. I thought the pacing of this novel was great, although it is a shorter book I think it tells the story it was meant to tell and the length fits the narrative. The writing style is also very “Cammie,” and fits her personality. The ending was a little abrupt but the overall message is good. THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER tells an emotional story, but I feel like some things go unaddressed – especially for the time period. This could have been due to Cammie’s age at the time because many things tend to go over a child’s head, but some aspects felt underdeveloped or unnecessary. While I did have a few issues with this book, I would recommend checking it out – especially if you are a fan of Jerry Spinelli’s other works.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I think my heart might explode into bits, this book was so incredibly moving. Spinelli outdoes himself with this exquisite blend of historical fiction, family drama, and mystery. Cammie is a delight from the first page, with her quippy wit and bravery, she steals the show and it is easy for the ready to jump right into her heart and want what she wants. The plot is a lovely meandering of twists and turns and the reader begins to long for answers in much the same way that Cammie is searching....f I think my heart might explode into bits, this book was so incredibly moving. Spinelli outdoes himself with this exquisite blend of historical fiction, family drama, and mystery. Cammie is a delight from the first page, with her quippy wit and bravery, she steals the show and it is easy for the ready to jump right into her heart and want what she wants. The plot is a lovely meandering of twists and turns and the reader begins to long for answers in much the same way that Cammie is searching....for what will fill her heart. The ending is phenomenal and a total surprise and the bits and pieces of historical elements make the reader especially nostalgic because growing up without a mother in 1959 would be especially lonesome for a young girl. But Cammie survives and thrives....and you'll be delighted to discover just how and why. Loved it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jean Beach

    Loved Connie She made me laugh she made me cry. Rich characters that brought me to tears on more than one occasion

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I think I need to stop reading Jerry Spinelli books, or at least these latest ones he's writing. I keep hoping with each new book that he's going to find the magic again and give the readers the same wonderful characters and writing we found in some of my favorites like Maniac McGee, Stargirl, Loser, and Jake and Lily. So yeah, I'm disappointed. I honestly don't ever know where to begin with this book, so I won't. I'll just say that I couldn't tolerate the main character, seriously didn't care f I think I need to stop reading Jerry Spinelli books, or at least these latest ones he's writing. I keep hoping with each new book that he's going to find the magic again and give the readers the same wonderful characters and writing we found in some of my favorites like Maniac McGee, Stargirl, Loser, and Jake and Lily. So yeah, I'm disappointed. I honestly don't ever know where to begin with this book, so I won't. I'll just say that I couldn't tolerate the main character, seriously didn't care for her at all, the story made little sense, and the whole thing just left me feeling yuck. I pretty much disliked Hokey Pokey, the author's previous book also. That one made even less sense than this one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Insanely unrealistic and problematic for many, many reasons, not least the unlikeliness of Cammie's complete self awareness at every step. Also, her supposedly loving father is completely absent for most of the story. And Eloda's bit at the end? And the granddaughter? UGH, all of it. This book is librarian bait, for adults nostalgic for childhood and the 50s, not for actual children. Eyerolls all around.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Harrison

    I promised a review of The Warden's Daughter quite some time ago. When you are an avid reader you come to adore certain writer's. I heart Jerry Spinelli big time. Every time he has a new release I am darn near giddy. Giving an author you love a less than perfect review is always an incredibly hard thing to do. Especially if you have met him or her. Considering how author's are so accessible these days or if you are in the industry in some capacity there is a pretty good chance you have. But it a I promised a review of The Warden's Daughter quite some time ago. When you are an avid reader you come to adore certain writer's. I heart Jerry Spinelli big time. Every time he has a new release I am darn near giddy. Giving an author you love a less than perfect review is always an incredibly hard thing to do. Especially if you have met him or her. Considering how author's are so accessible these days or if you are in the industry in some capacity there is a pretty good chance you have. But it all makes writing a less than stellar review daunting. I loved every moment in The Warden's Daughter until Boo Boo died. It was classic Spinelli until then. It felt like Spinelli was being haunted by a deadline and just wanted the book done and over with. How Boo Boo was presented gave no indication of an impending suicide. She was boisterous, painted her nails, planned for the future etc. Spinelli seems to try and explain that possibly Boo Boo was in the prison for more than shoplifting. Considering how protective everyone was of Cammie I doubt she would be allowed to have so much access and alone time with her if that was the case. There was almost a mother daughter bond going on between the two. I don't believe Boo Boo would want to cause Cammie the pain of her loss. Even if she suffered from a mental illness, I don't think she would be that cruel. So many other things seemed inauthentic. Eloda staying in prison to care for Cammie even though she was released. I don't see even the kindest convict wanting to stay confined for darn near anyone. She could have thought of another way. The warden could have hired her as a normal maid or nanny or maybe they all could have been real friends. Eloda's diary writings about how much she loved Cammie etc. didn't ring true in the slightest. Eloda didn't do Cammie any favors by withholding affection from Cammie. Or even much in the way of friendship. Aside from the morning hair braiding she pretty much ignored the child. The girl clearly was in the worst need of some motherly love. Dwelling on Cammies mother's death was preposterous. She was too young to even remember her mother. Yet she throws herself down in the street where her mother was run over and is hysterical as if it took place yesterday. Although you can wish things were different, you just can't miss something so badly that you never had. It is strange that Cammie's dad did not provide some sort of mother figure Cammie's entire life. Who took care of her as a baby, toddler etc. when Cammie's dad was at work? There must have been someone. Cammie shoplifting rang untrue. So did throwing the girls out of her apartment on her birthday. Cammie wanted friends so desperately. The pause in her misery would have been a happy respite. Her cruelty to the girls, punching the boy, the various ways she acted out seemed inconsistent with her character. The adults in her life didn't do much to help her. That is for sure. The ending was kind of non-existent. She basically just gets over herself. It doesn't say anything about what happened to her best friend who was sprinkled between the pages so thoroughly. If Eloda loved her so much why not even a letter at some point? Didn't she want to know what happened to her charge in the slightest? An ultimately unfulfilling ending. But an incredible 3/4's of a book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Another great story with endearing characters from Jerry Spinelli. Though set in 1950s, this is a story that will resonate with a lot of kids--it's essentially about dealing with tragedy and grief and what can happen to a person if those things aren't dealt with. The prison setting is original and interesting, and several side characters (Eloda, Boo Boo, Reggie) are just as developed and likable as our narrator, Cammie. The short chapters will appeal to my middle graders, as well, and for a hist Another great story with endearing characters from Jerry Spinelli. Though set in 1950s, this is a story that will resonate with a lot of kids--it's essentially about dealing with tragedy and grief and what can happen to a person if those things aren't dealt with. The prison setting is original and interesting, and several side characters (Eloda, Boo Boo, Reggie) are just as developed and likable as our narrator, Cammie. The short chapters will appeal to my middle graders, as well, and for a historical novel its plot is pretty fast-paced.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I just didn't really care for this book. Not sure if it was the narrator, but I didn't like the characters very much.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli tells the story of a girl who lost her mother as an infant and grew up as the daughter of a prison warden. Cammie isn’t a girl who is silly and lots of fun. In fact, she is fast moving and fast talking, exactly why she has the nickname Cannonball Cammie. Cammie is actually angry most of the time. Her best friend has developed faster and seems to be 17 instead of 13 sometimes. She wants to get on Bandstand and be famous. Cammie though is more interested in riding h Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli tells the story of a girl who lost her mother as an infant and grew up as the daughter of a prison warden. Cammie isn’t a girl who is silly and lots of fun. In fact, she is fast moving and fast talking, exactly why she has the nickname Cannonball Cammie. Cammie is actually angry most of the time. Her best friend has developed faster and seems to be 17 instead of 13 sometimes. She wants to get on Bandstand and be famous. Cammie though is more interested in riding her bike around town and playing baseball. Cammie thinks that her life would be better with a motherly figure, so she begins to try to get the prisoner assigned as their housekeeper to be more like a mother to her. Then there’s Boo Boo, the prisoner who acts motherly towards Cammie but hides a dark secret. Her father too is a mystery, both present and not there, sometimes at the same time. It’s all a confusing mix of emotions for Cammie, who will need to deal with her own grief both past and present before she can do anything but be angry at the world. Spinelli has written a completely captivating story in this middle grade novel. The setting is richly created with the prison, a full city and community, and one moment after another where Cammie sets it all ablaze with her anger and acting out. Throughout though, Cammie is far more than just as angry person, she is humanity personified, a girl in search of herself even as she spends her time looking for solutions in others. It’s a compelling story, one that is filled with moments of joy and despair. Spinelli writes like a wizard, unveiling truths slowly and beautifully. As Cammie storms through her life, she also reveals the truths of others around her. And without revealing the entirely riveting and humbling ending, she creates opportunities where others become more than they have ever been before. It is a staggeringly rich novel that is written with such skill that it manages to read in an accessible way. A masterful book about loss, childhood and recovery by a master of books for children, this is a must-read and a must-buy for libraries. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by the publisher Cammie lives in an apartment in a prison in 1959 because her father is the warden there. Her mother died in a car accident when Cammie was a baby-- her mother's last act was pushing the stroller Cammie was in away from the car that hit her. A series of "hands" have helped raise Cammie, and the latest, Eloda, is someone to whom she has warmed. Approaching her teen years, Cammie longs for a mother figure in her life, since she sees her father as distant and marginall E ARC provided by the publisher Cammie lives in an apartment in a prison in 1959 because her father is the warden there. Her mother died in a car accident when Cammie was a baby-- her mother's last act was pushing the stroller Cammie was in away from the car that hit her. A series of "hands" have helped raise Cammie, and the latest, Eloda, is someone to whom she has warmed. Approaching her teen years, Cammie longs for a mother figure in her life, since she sees her father as distant and marginally involved. There are other things going on-- during the summer break, Cammie has a group of firends who want to come to her home because it is located at the prison, and her friend Reggie gets to dance on American Bandstand. There are friendships with the inmates, especially the bubbly BooBoo, who regales Cammie with her life before she became imprisoned. When BooBoo hangs herself in the shower, all of Cammie's emotions come to the front, and she has a break down through which Eloda helps her. When school starts, however, she is on her own to navigate the treacherous waters of adolescence, since Eloda has served her time. Strengths: This was much better than Hokey Pokey, and had a lot of good period details. Readers who liked Connor's All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook might find this an interesting book to read to compare and contrast with that title. There is definitely a need for more books set during this time period. My favorite part was the American Bandstand appearance, as well as the descriptions of Reggie's outfits. Weaknesses: This was very slow and rather sad. The device of telling it from Cammie's perspective when she was older took away some of the immediacy. I was all set to buy this even though it would probably circulate slowly, but the suicide of BooBoo made this too sad. What I really think: Not a bad historical novel, but I agree with the School Library Journal review that it will appeal more to adults than children. Purchase if there is a large Spinelli fan base or a need for novels set during this time period.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Such a lovely book reminds me of Manic Magee, very lyrical. Becuase it is framed as an adult looking back, pushes the boundaries of children's lit but does an amazing job.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica King

    I'm not going to summarize the story here. I'm going to point out the one big problem. SO to save a girl whose mother died, you have to show her no emotion and NOT give her the love she's so desperately looking for? I agree, sometimes it's the best and hardest to let someone (a child) figure things out for themselves, but by showing no empathy? And no discipline? You don't want to teach her that her pain doesn't give her the right to cause other people pain? Isn't that the actual underlying probl I'm not going to summarize the story here. I'm going to point out the one big problem. SO to save a girl whose mother died, you have to show her no emotion and NOT give her the love she's so desperately looking for? I agree, sometimes it's the best and hardest to let someone (a child) figure things out for themselves, but by showing no empathy? And no discipline? You don't want to teach her that her pain doesn't give her the right to cause other people pain? Isn't that the actual underlying problem here? She lashes out because she is hurting and not getting what she needs. Or was this a writing tool to allow the child character to be center stage? This is actually tough to do as a writer and my pet peeve is when the parents are stupid - and thank goodness that's not the case here - but I am not sure this was the way, either. OK - 2 problems. So when her caretaker leaves without notice, she just straightens up and flies right? She's just suddenly over lashing out? Because she goes back to school? It takes the hurt of abandonment to clear your head?!? Or would a girl snap at that point, at that age, and just be hell on wheels? One great thing the author did capture was the inner dialog of someone doing wrong who KNOWS it's wrong - the guilt and the acknowledgement and yet powerless feeling of doing something anyway. After reading it, I just felt like there was a much deeper, longer novel there that someone cut some major corners on.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Cammie, the warden’s daughter, lives with her dad in an apartment that is part of the prison he commands. Her mother was killed in an accident at a nearby intersection when Cammie was a baby; a truck turned the corner as her mom was crossing the street pushing Cammie in her baby carriage. Her mom’s last act was to push the baby carriage out of the way before the truck hit her and killed her. And that is Cammie’s dilemma, for she lives in a prison made of stone to be sure, but she also is a prison Cammie, the warden’s daughter, lives with her dad in an apartment that is part of the prison he commands. Her mother was killed in an accident at a nearby intersection when Cammie was a baby; a truck turned the corner as her mom was crossing the street pushing Cammie in her baby carriage. Her mom’s last act was to push the baby carriage out of the way before the truck hit her and killed her. And that is Cammie’s dilemma, for she lives in a prison made of stone to be sure, but she also is a prisoner in her own prison, a prison of anger and resentment that she has no mother to care for her, to, well, mother her. Cammie so yearns for a mother that she wishes that the trusty woman who cares for their apartment and looks after Cammie while her dad is working were her mother. Or if not her, perhaps one of the women inmates she is close to. THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER culminates in a Cammie gone off the deep end in her desperation and despair. What will happen to her? You will have to read this extraordinary book to find that out! And one more word – this is a book everyone, no matter how old you are, should read, since beyond Cammie’s needs, is our own need, to find out who were the real people, their real personalities and real growing up and becoming adult lives, that are parents are or were. A MUST READ!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    Books like this have been done before: a girl coming to terms with the loss of her mother, even the prison setting. Still, Spinelli is a very good writer.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I don't think master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has ever written a book that I didn't like, and this one is no exception. The daughter of the warden, Cammie O'Reilly lives in an apartment above the Hancock County Prison in Two Mills, Pennsylvania. Although she dearly loves her father, Cammie misses her mother who died when she was very young. Readers will recognize her desire for a mother in how she behaves toward several of the women prisoners, particularly Eloda who is the family's housekeeper I don't think master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has ever written a book that I didn't like, and this one is no exception. The daughter of the warden, Cammie O'Reilly lives in an apartment above the Hancock County Prison in Two Mills, Pennsylvania. Although she dearly loves her father, Cammie misses her mother who died when she was very young. Readers will recognize her desire for a mother in how she behaves toward several of the women prisoners, particularly Eloda who is the family's housekeeper and was once an arsonist. For some reason, Cammie [nicknamed Cannonball for obvious reasons] has been able to keep her demons at bay until this particular summer of 1959 when all hell breaks lose. Suddenly her best friend Reggie Weinstein is maturing physically, developing breasts and wearing make-up, and going crazy over Elvis Presley. Cammie isn't sure where she fits in with all this since she still loves playing baseball, but plays it too roughly and fiercely. With the arrival of a man who killed a youngster, things get even more complicated since Reggie wants to meet him, and Cammie isn't at all sure how cool she is with using her position as the warden's daughter to pull that off. I'm betting many young readers will find it easy to slip into Cammie's shoes, aching for love and coping with grief and loss and uncertainty about who she even is, even while finding her situation as the warden's daughter to be unique. It's neat to have the bulk of the story bookended by modern times when Cammie looks back with fondness and a sense of loss on that particularly confusing summer. Parts of the story broke my heart since like Cammie, I was forced to reckon with the fact that some of the characters weren't always telling the truth. Boo Boo's story about the loyal man who was waiting for her simply killed me. But don't we all have small and large fantasies or wishes about how things might have been if only all was right in the world?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy

    I'm torn on how to review this one. It's definitely a book mean to win awards (and it probably will/has). It's lyrical and poetic and told from a limited point of view. And it's certainly not something that most kids will pick up unless it's assigned to them. It's heavy and scary in parts and not necessarily written "for" kids. But darn it... I actually liked it. I didn't think I would in the end. I did get mad when Cammie's friend Reggie started fangirling after the guy who was charged with kille I'm torn on how to review this one. It's definitely a book mean to win awards (and it probably will/has). It's lyrical and poetic and told from a limited point of view. And it's certainly not something that most kids will pick up unless it's assigned to them. It's heavy and scary in parts and not necessarily written "for" kids. But darn it... I actually liked it. I didn't think I would in the end. I did get mad when Cammie's friend Reggie started fangirling after the guy who was charged with killed a teen girl - but I wanted to cheer when Cammie hauled Reggie down to meet with the murder victim's mother and demanded Reggie tell the mom that she wanted her daughter's murderer's autograph. Other than that - this was a point-by-point slice-of-life story from the perspective of a girl who lived in a jail and befriended inmates and tried to make that part of her life mesh with her normal-kid-life. She rebels in the face of tragedy and tries to make sense of her world and the people in it. The ending, though. The ending is what really hit me hard. I had to step away for a bit and take a walk because it was intense. But not in a bad way. I don't want to spoil it, but it was so satisfying and great and... yep. I can see why this one is in Newbery contention. This is certainly not a light and fluffy read, so be prepared for that. But it's a good make-you-think book that adults can certainly get something out of. Hopefully some kids will too.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Reagan

    This is an excellent book that is well written and has great plot and suspense and has a wonderful ending. This book is written as a grandmother writing the story of her "bad time" summer, the summer of 1959. She tells us about how she, Cammie, was the daughter of the warden of the county penitentiary and lives in the prison in a separate apartment. She has grown up without a mother, because when she was a little baby, a milk truck hit her mother. Cammie really struggles with the loss of her moth This is an excellent book that is well written and has great plot and suspense and has a wonderful ending. This book is written as a grandmother writing the story of her "bad time" summer, the summer of 1959. She tells us about how she, Cammie, was the daughter of the warden of the county penitentiary and lives in the prison in a separate apartment. She has grown up without a mother, because when she was a little baby, a milk truck hit her mother. Cammie really struggles with the loss of her mother throughout the book, and tries to fill the void in her heart with first her trustee Eloda Pupco, and then another prison inmate who has taking a liking to her, Boo Boo Dunbar. Cammie also has strive in her relationship with her friend Reggie Winestine, over the person's famous new inmate, Edward Marvin Baker. The last third of the book has many plot twist and is emotionally difficult for both Cammie and the reader, the ending of the book is wonderful, and this is a book I would recommend to anyone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenner

    Initially, I was thinking of giving this a three. But the characters got into my head and the story was so vivid a three wasn't fair. I thought about this book for days after finishing. Thought about what it really would be like being raised above a prison. How having female inmates as friends could mess with a little girl's mind. Then wondering if all of that gave her greater insight to the human heart than most adults have? I felt for her and her desperate need for a mother figure. Her worries Initially, I was thinking of giving this a three. But the characters got into my head and the story was so vivid a three wasn't fair. I thought about this book for days after finishing. Thought about what it really would be like being raised above a prison. How having female inmates as friends could mess with a little girl's mind. Then wondering if all of that gave her greater insight to the human heart than most adults have? I felt for her and her desperate need for a mother figure. Her worries became my worries, which I think is part of the reason I wasn't in love with the book. Her story is heavy (for a children's book) which is hard to bear as a reader sometimes. But, like all of Spinelli's books, it was written with such vibrancy that heavy or not, I was in her world. I cared for her and I had to see the story through. That's gotta be worth at least 4 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I listened to this book. I don't know if I would have read it. I seem to be getting particular about the way a story starts, and this one did not immediately draw me in. But the reader, Carrington McDuffie, with her smoky almost male-sounding voice DID begin to draw me in. The story takes place in 1959 in Brooklyn New York, where Cammie is being raised by her single dad, who happens to be the warden of the county jail. This is the story of a motherless girl during the summer before seventh grade I listened to this book. I don't know if I would have read it. I seem to be getting particular about the way a story starts, and this one did not immediately draw me in. But the reader, Carrington McDuffie, with her smoky almost male-sounding voice DID begin to draw me in. The story takes place in 1959 in Brooklyn New York, where Cammie is being raised by her single dad, who happens to be the warden of the county jail. This is the story of a motherless girl during the summer before seventh grade, the summer when the loss of her mother becomes too much to bear. It was a mesmerizing story. The ending takes place 50 years later, still told in the first person by the protagonist, and I almost wish that it had ended back in 1959. I'm not sure why Spinelli decided to write it this way. Perhaps the ending is for the adult readers.... This was definitely a marvelous book, once you get into it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tina Dalton

    This is a beautiful book about a girl on the brink of her teen years. Cammie lives at a prison with her father, the warden. She's trying to fill the mother-shaped hole in her life with friendships she's developed with prisoners. The story takes place in the 1950s. Cammie is an unhappy, firecracker of a girl who has both epic highs and dark, dark lows. Its a touching tale of love and family. She's retelling the story as a grandmother, of the year she finally allowed herself to mourn the loss of he This is a beautiful book about a girl on the brink of her teen years. Cammie lives at a prison with her father, the warden. She's trying to fill the mother-shaped hole in her life with friendships she's developed with prisoners. The story takes place in the 1950s. Cammie is an unhappy, firecracker of a girl who has both epic highs and dark, dark lows. Its a touching tale of love and family. She's retelling the story as a grandmother, of the year she finally allowed herself to mourn the loss of her mother. Because this story is told retroactively from an adults perspective, I really don't think it should be considered a "Juvenile" book. Yes, for the most part of the book the main character is 12 or 13. But this is a powerful book is about loss, love, heartbreak, and a lot of other heavy topics that I feel will not really resonate strongly with a preteen audience.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Prince William Public Library System

    Camille O’Reilly is trapped in a figurative prison of grief and anger over her mother’s accidental death saving Camille as an infant. Cammie is also bridging the perilous gap between childhood and adolescence while craving a “real live mother to beg and pester like all the other kids” or at least one who would pay attention to her. Growing up adjacent to a Hancock County Prison where her Father is a warden, Cammie is drawn to several mother figures via the female prisoners and begins to “auditio Camille O’Reilly is trapped in a figurative prison of grief and anger over her mother’s accidental death saving Camille as an infant. Cammie is also bridging the perilous gap between childhood and adolescence while craving a “real live mother to beg and pester like all the other kids” or at least one who would pay attention to her. Growing up adjacent to a Hancock County Prison where her Father is a warden, Cammie is drawn to several mother figures via the female prisoners and begins to “audition” them for the role of her mother. Throughout her interactions with them she eventually realizes that while the people we love have the capability of hurting us and letting us down, it doesn’t mean they love us any less. Spinelli's character development and snappy dialogue are the highlights of the book.Cammie is both incredibly selfish and astoundingly self-aware. Spinelli writes her so well that the reader immediately connects to Cammie’s tumultuous emotions. The secondary characters including the prisoners, Cammie’s father, her fame-crazy best friend Reggie, and the prison housekeeper Eloda all shine and are very well developed. Although the plot tends to drag with constant flashbacks from a grandmotherly Cammie about the summer of 1959, Spinelli builds tension and foreshadowing throughout well enough to keep the story moving. The best way to sum up Cammie O’Reilly, who is the very heart of the novel, is through her own words; “The sky is blue. The grass is green. Cammie O’Reilly is not happy.” Cammie's emotional journey is insightful, if a little unreliable, and full of moxy as she carries the story to its heartbreaking conclusion. The epilogue felt a little rushed to try and tie everything together but the sentiment “Be still…it will come to you” will stay with readers. The themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of people to be inherently good make this a wonderful and powerful read for middle grade readers and adults as well. -Rosanne NJ Click here to find the book at the Prince William County Public Library System.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mortisha Cassavetes

    What a cute story. I just loved it. This book is set in the 1950's and it follows a little girl named Cammie who is the warden's daughter and lives in the Hancock County Prison. She likes to go into the yard and talk with the female prisoners as well as spending time with her friends. Cammie lost her mom when she was a baby and is in need for a mother's affection so she tries to find it in the trust prisoner that works in her home as the housekeeper. I don't want to go into the story more as to What a cute story. I just loved it. This book is set in the 1950's and it follows a little girl named Cammie who is the warden's daughter and lives in the Hancock County Prison. She likes to go into the yard and talk with the female prisoners as well as spending time with her friends. Cammie lost her mom when she was a baby and is in need for a mother's affection so she tries to find it in the trust prisoner that works in her home as the housekeeper. I don't want to go into the story more as to not spoil it but it is a sweet coming of age story and the ending is OMG. I highly recommend this book to everyone of all ages.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Bell

    I thought this was a good, well-written book. It definitely had its share of problems, but I still think the book is a high 3.5 star book, worthy of being rounded up to 4 stars. The problem many people find with the book is the missed opportunity to talk about race relations during the late 50's. However, doing so would detract from what the author wanted to talk about, namely the relationships between Cammie (the warden's daughter) and her father (the warden), some lady prisoners and her friends I thought this was a good, well-written book. It definitely had its share of problems, but I still think the book is a high 3.5 star book, worthy of being rounded up to 4 stars. The problem many people find with the book is the missed opportunity to talk about race relations during the late 50's. However, doing so would detract from what the author wanted to talk about, namely the relationships between Cammie (the warden's daughter) and her father (the warden), some lady prisoners and her friends. Her mother died in an accident when she was a baby, and she is really bitter. Making this a book about race would detract from what the book is really about. Spinelli can (see Maniac McGee) write very good books about race relations, but he chose to write about something else this time. Perfectly okay to do so. But I really didn't like Cammie. My guess is that we were supposed to learn to like her despite her bitterness and rejoice at her recovery. However, her recovery seemed to quick, and I never liked her in the first place. Also, I feel I understand the author's idea of the last couple of chapters with Eloda's journal and then with Cammie coming back to the prison with her granddaughter. The last was okay, and I could see it making the story seem more real, but the journal entries just seemed so detracting. A lot of things were well-written and deep. Looking at it from Eloda's perspective was, in my opinion, harmful to the total affect of the story. Nonetheless, this is a good book. I am glad for the opportunity I had to read it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.