All the Greys on Greene Street

by Laura Tucker

In 1981, Ollie (Olympia), 11, lives in a SoHo loft with her artist mother and art... read more

In 1981, Ollie (Olympia), 11, lives in a SoHo loft with her artist mother and art restorer dad, who has recently gone to France with a woman client, leaving a cryptic note for Ollie behind. Since he left, Ollie’s mom has taken to her bed. It’s not the first time her mom has been depressed, but now Ollie is on her own. She confides in her two best friends and swears them to secrecy, refusing to tell an adult, not even family friend Apollo. Her dad’s note, along with the appearance of a stranger asking questions about a missing piece of art, lead Ollie to wonder if her dad’s disappearance isn’t only about the French woman she and her friends call Vooley Voo. Smart, sensitive Ollie is an artist herself— she does pencil drawings—and her sketches are scattered throughout a story that has satisfying elements of mystery. But it’s the vividly realized setting— pre-gentrified SoHo—captured in myriad details, and the acute exploration of family, friendship, and the impact of a parent’s depression, that make this a book that will resonate deeply. It also offers hope, as Ollie, who is white, comes to understand things can’t go back to the way they once were, but the future is full of promise. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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