Kayla's Reviews > A Corner of the Universe

A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
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Apr 15, 12

bookshelves: 12th-grade, advisory, third-quarter

A Corner of the Universe
by Ann M. Martin
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Scholastic Inc. (first published October 1st 2002)
ISBN 0439771242

"My father's movies are great, but they don't begin to tell the story of the summer. What's left out is more important than what is there. Dad captured the good times, only the good times. The parts he left out are what changed my life." Sometimes the people who mean the most to us are the ones that come into our lives unexpectedly. Hattie Owen knows this really well.

The summer of 1960, eleven (soon to be twelve) year old Hattie meets Adam, the uncle everyone seems to keep quiet about. She has never met him but is on a crash course towards learning to deal with someone who isn't as easily dealt with as she thought he'd be. Twenty one year old Adam is being forced to live at home with his parents, who are Hattie's grandparents, because his special school in Chicago closes down. Most of the family don't easily accept who Adam is and can't deal with the way he is. A perfect example of this is on page 42. "Nana is watching him too. Eventually she says, 'Adam, what did we talk about this afternoon?Slow down, please.'" His mother and father can't deal with the strange habits their child has or the fact that he isn't as mature as most 21 year olds. Hattie on the other hand easily befriends him and finds herself more curious than appalled at her uncle.

This book has been compared to Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie and I really saw that in this book because of how there's this melancholy and calming feeling through some of the book. In elementary school when I was in the 4th grade, we read Because of Winn-Dixie as a class and I noticed that it was similar that although the texts themselves are fairly simple there's so much more meaning to them. In this book I found that the fact that the family almost tried to hide Adam was something that anyone at any age can read about and connect to on some level. Although we may not have a person we are ashamed of, there's always something that we look down upon. I thought that it was interesting how Adam passes away. That his love for Angel Valentine is much more straightforward and obvious than any of his family's love for him. Yes, they probably love him more than anything and acted completely because of that but no one shows acceptance the way he just openly loves Angel.

I would recommend this book to anyone because it's a really easy read but it's also a page turner. I liked how it was set in 1960 because it also gives a different time period to think about. Would people treat Adam the way his family did? Would they know exactly what kind of mental illness he had? The book didn't mention it but how come he wasn't put in another school instead of being sent home? I think that if you're bored and want something you can read in an hour or two, this book is great for that.
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