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Author: Giff, Patricia Reilly
Publisher: Random House Childre's Books
Year Published: 2016
ISBN: 9780385744867
Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6

Jubilee

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As children often do, Jubilee has always blamed herself for her mother’s abandonment of her when she was about two years old.  Jubilee has not spoken since her mother left.  She does not know what she did wrong, but she is sure that she could make it right if her mother would return; and then she would find her voice.  Return to the small, idyllic island off the Maine coast where Jubilee lives with Aunt Cora, the “mother” who has raised her, and clearly loves and dotes on Jubilee.  This is Jubilee’s Grade 5 year, and a year of discovery for her.  She will go into a regular class at school, have a new teacher, a new friendship with the least popular boy in her class as they work together on a science project, a stray dog who becomes her best friend, and leisure to explore the island’s wildlife.  But, she yearns for her mother.  When that reunion finally comes, it puts many things into perspective for Jubilee.  Jubilee’s epiphany comes when she realizes that leaving her Dog alone on the island is just like her own abandonment by her mother.  In the end, Jubilee decides that her island life, the people there who love her, and that she loves back, are what matter most.  Award winning author, Patricia Reilly Giff has given us somewhat idealistic, yet believable characters, and a strong sense of place in this novel aimed at Grade 4-6 readers.



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