The Cuckoo's Child

by Suzanne Freeman

As this deeply layered novel set in 1962 opens, Mia's parents have disappeared... read more

As this deeply layered novel set in 1962 opens, Mia's parents have disappeared while on a sailing trip in the Ionian Sea. Now Mia and her half-sisters have been shuttled from Beirut, Lebanon, to Tennessee to live with their Aunt Kit. Unable to believe the worst about her parents, Mia half hopes they have defected to an Eastern Bloc country, as some of the government agents who question her seem to imply; but the same thought is also her greatest fear: if her parents aren't dead, they have knowingly abandoned her. It is under the strain of these two possibilities regarding her parents' fate that Mia is trying to adjust to life back in the United States, but she is overwhelmed and disconcerted at being back home in her country and not feeling at home at all, at finding that she doesn't fit in with the other kids, and at finding that it is another misfit, Sinclair, with whom she best connects. Suzanne Freeman's debut novel offes no easy answers for Mia or for readers. In a book featuring memorable characterizations and striking imagery and that takes readers through complex emotional terrain, Mia finds that life is about people struggling to do their best, and sometimes it is the trying that matters most. Honor Book, 1996 CCBC Newbery Award Discussion (Ages 10-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

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