Review! The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

wardensdaughterThe Warden’s Daughter
By Jerry Spinelli
352 pages – ages 9+
Will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on January 3rd, 2017

Synopsis- Cammie O’Reilly is in prison. But not serving a crime. You see, her father is the warden of the jail, and she lives in an apartment above it. It’s a good life, though. The one thing that she really doesn’t have is a mother. Yeah, her dad is a good father, but he just doesn’t have that motherly vibe. So that’s why Cammie decides to make Eloda, one of the trustees (prisoners with privileges) in charge of housekeeping, her mother. Cammie sets about trying to win her over. Except that Eloda wants nothing to do with her. After all, inmates should keep their distance from the warden’s daughter. But Cammie can be very persistent. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

What I Thought This was a really neat historical fiction novel. It’s set in 1959, with an introduction and epilogue set in 2017 from Cammie’s point-of-view. Mr. Spinelli has a way of writing that makes it seem like a close friend telling a story, with a whole lot of little details that remind you of life in its fullest. Things like getting how people would act in a situation to a point where the reader thinks, even sometimes reluctantly, “Yeah, I’d do that.” I think it’s really cool that in Mr. Spinelli’s Acknowledgements he points out that he actually knows a lady who was an actual warden’s daughter, and that gave Mr. Spinelli the idea to write this book. Cammie is a great character that you really route for as she is figuring out her problems and coming to terms with her mom’s death. The characters and relationships between them are fully developed.The reader really gets to know them. I especially liked the unusual prison setting and the twist that a warden’s daughter was seeking something she needed on an emotional level from an inmate. It’s a great hook for the story. Mr. Spinelli breathed life into both Cammie and Eloda and made the readers care for them. This is a really beautiful coming-of-age story.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks



Categories: Age 9+

Tags: , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Did you find it believable that Cammie just started thinking about being motherless at age 12? I read that part in another review (BookPage of Jan, ’17). I ask because I have a similar story line in my own WIP in which a 12 year old girl just realizes how much she despises her name which is Jeremy. Your opinion matters to me. I will get this book by Jerry Spinelli who always finds a great hook and unpredictable characters.

    Happy reading in 2017! Beth Schmelzer http://www.BESTBOOKSBYBETH.com

    Beth http://www.BESTBOOKSBYBETH.com

    On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 6:47 AM, This Kid Reviews Books wrote:

    > ThisKidReviewsBooks posted: “The Warden’s Daughter By Jerry Spinelli 352 > pages – ages 9+ Will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on > January 3rd, 2017 Synopsis- Cammie O’Reilly is in prison. But not serving a > crime. You see, her father is the warden of the jail, and s” >

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    • I think it’s totally believable. I think kids start to think about “big picture” things about that age – I am adopted and have always known I am adopted and it seems normal to me, but I think around 11 or 12 I really started to think about it and what it means and why people seem surprised to learn I am adopted. I also really started to think about growing up and things like that around then, so to me it is very believable. By the way, my sister who is turning 13 this month, announced last year she wants to change her name when she gets older because she hates it – so I think your story line is totally believable too! Hope that helps!

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  2. Nice review, Erik! Jerry Spinelli is pretty amazing 🙂 In fact, Kathy Temean just put up his upcoming book tour and he’ll be in PA, but I don’t know if it’s anywhere near you. You might want to check it out:

    https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/guest-blog/#respond

    Like

  3. Nice! I reviewed this book today. It’s a touching story.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY
  2. Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY – PragmaticMom

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