When She Was Good by Norma Fox Mazer

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Synopsis

Norma Fox Mazer's remarkable story of two sisters fighting to survive against a world without caring.

In the sad, shabby trailer where Em Thurkill lived her first fourteen years, suffering her father's alcoholic rages and her mother's deathly silence, and in the three she lived trapped with her violent, unstable sister, there seems more than enough to end even the dream of hope.

Yet Em Thurkill's story is a story of how hope outlives brutality. It is a story of one girl's sweetness, and almost unbearable pain. Heartbreaking, mesmerizing, and ultimately transcendent, this novel is a tribute to the astonishing resilience of the human soul.
 

About Norma Fox Mazer

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Norma Fox Mazer was born in New York City on May 15, 1931. She studied at Antioch College and at Syracuse University. Before her first juvenile novel I, Trissy was published in 1971, she contributed first-person articles to pulp magazines like True Confessions and True Story. She wrote more than 30 books during her lifetime including Dear Bill, Remember Me? (1976), Summer Girls, Love Boys, and Other Short Stories (1982), Silver (1988), Out of Control (1993), and Good Night, Maman (1999). She won numerous awards including a Newbery Honor in 1988 for After the Rain, an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1982 for Taking Terri Mueller, a Christopher Award, and an ALAN Award. From 1997 to 2006, she taught writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She died of brain cancer on October 17, 2009 at the age of 78.
 
Published April 30, 2013 by Arthur A. Levine Books. 208 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for When She Was Good

Publishers Weekly

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After years of abuse from her mentally ill older sister, a girl gingerly takes her first steps toward liberation when her tormentor dies. PW's starred review called the novel heart-wrenching. Ages

Jan 03 2000 | Read Full Review of When She Was Good

Publishers Weekly

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After years of abuse from her mentally ill older sister, a girl gingerly takes her first steps toward liberation when her tormentor dies.

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Publishers Weekly

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When Pamela and Em are forced to flee from their run-down trailer, they move to the city where life remains grim for 14-year-old Em.

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Publishers Weekly

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After years of abuse from her mentally ill older sister, a girl gingerly takes her first steps toward liberation when her tormentor dies. PW's starred review called the novel heart-wrenching. Ages

Jan 03 2000 | Read Full Review of When She Was Good

Common Sense Media

Em has endured years of mental and physical abuse from Pamela, their frail mother died years earlier and -- thanks to Pamela -- she has no idea where her father and stepmother are or if they're even still alive.

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Reader Rating for When She Was Good
80%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 32 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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