Thursday, December 22, 2011

Putting Makeup on Dead People

by Jen Violi

Donna really didn't know what she wanted to do after high school.  Sure there was the possibility of college, but that just didn't appeal to her the way it should.  But then she attended the funeral of a girl she goes to high school with.  And suddenly she realizes that her career choice is right in front of her: mortician school.  Definitely not a typical choice, but after dealing with the loss of her own father, she knows that she has the ability to comfort the grieving, to help provide closure to those who have lost.  She just needs to convince her mother that it's the right choice.

Violi has created an interesting character in Donna.  She is both incredibly mature for her age, having dealt with a severe loss in her life, but also very immature, being unable to cope with her mother dating 4 years after losing her father, and not able to talk about her life choices without being very defensive.  Overall though the book deftly deals with the many ways people cope with loss and the way one girl decides to help them.  Good for teens mainly, not a very thorough book about loss in general though. 

Genre: Realistic fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade

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