Also Known As Harper
By Ann Haywood Leal
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), Hardcover, 9780805088816, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
Harper Lee Morgan is an aspiring poet, which isn't surprising, seeing as how she's named after her mama's favorite writer, Harper Lee. And life is giving her a lot to write about just now. Daddy up and walked out, leaving them broke. Then Harper's family gets evicted.
With Mama scrambling to find work, Harper has to skip school to care for her little brother, Hemingway. Their lives have been turned upside down, which Harper could just about handle--if it wasn't for the writing contest at school. If only she could get up on that stage and read her poems out loud . . .
ANN HAYWOOD LEAL volunteers at her local soup kitchen, and this novel grew out of her concern for the very real issue of homelessness in our own backyards. Ann is an elementary-school teacher in Waterford, Connecticut.
First-time novelist Leal creates complex characters from various walks of life… The cards are stacked against Harper and her family, but it is inspiring to watch her find success with a pen, paper and a little hope.
"Memorable characterizations fill the book with realistic individuals whom readers will root for and celebrate with when their lives finally begin to improve."
First-time novelist Leal takes a narrative with familiar elements…and elevates it with her characters, who...are sharply and sympathetically drawn. One of the highlights is Harper's poetry, interspersed throughout the book…they are written in a clear and natural way that will speak to readers and make them think.
The likable characters, their misfortunes and especially their self-reliance will keep readers...enthralled. A poignant debut.
From Harper to Winnie Rae Early, the characters are memorable as are the descriptive passages…This book is rich with discussion opportunity for middle grade students