Sister Spider knows all.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Peachtree. 209p. c2003. 1-56145-290-4. $14.95. J

Americans tend to avoid discussing class differences, and this charming story about a girl who lives in a trailer with her chain-smoking, obese grandmother is something out of the ordinary. Rox and Mimi live quite happily with Rox's cousin, ambitious John Martin, who is determined to improve their lot in life. John Martin works hard, goes to college, nags Rox about her own schoolwork, and has brought a new girlfriend into their lives: the daughter of a local doctor. Lucy is hungry to belong to a family and she is intrigued by the differences, but she also starts nagging Mimi to give up smoking. She encourages Rox to find out more about her own mother. Mimi's daughter, who as a teenager left Rox behind when Rox was three months old, and no one has heard of her since. There is a fine line between being judgmental and being helpful, and this is a line Lucy crosses at times, causing a lot of friction. There is a lot of talk of food eaten--Lucy feels that Mimi's food is usually unhealthy for them to eat, and Mimi is offended. But Mimi is also aware that her own health is deteriorating and that common sense dictates...

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