The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster

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The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster

by Kaye Gibbons

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | November 6, 2006 | Trade Paperback

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This sequel to Gibbons''s beloved classic Ellen Foster stands on its own as an unforgettable portrait of a redoubtable adolescent making herself up out of whole cloth. Now fifteen, Ellen is settled into a permanent home with a new mother. Strengthened by adversity and blessed with enough intelligence to design a salvation for herself, she still feels ill at ease in the world. Her sole surviving ritual-a visit to the county fair-takes on totemic importance. While she holds fast to the shreds of her childhood-humoring her best friend, Stuart, who is determined to marry her; and protecting her old neighbor, slow-witted Starletta-she negotiates her way into a larger world by selling her poetry to pay her way to a camp for gifted students. With a singular mix of perspicacity, naïveté, and compassion, Ellen draws us into her life and makes us fall in love with her all over again.


Anyone considering making an underage change in life, such
as who you''re going to live with, should know there''s no way to
avoid the government getting in on the decision, so try to be
kind to the lady they''ll send with a stack of tests. Try to stay
calm and do your best on them.

-from The Life All Around Me By Ellen Foster

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: November 6, 2006

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0156032902

ISBN - 13: 9780156032902

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster

The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster

by Kaye Gibbons

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 240 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: November 6, 2006

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0156032902

ISBN - 13: 9780156032902

Read from the Book

A NYONE CONSIDERING MAKING AN UNDERAGE change in life, such as who you''re going to live with, should know there''s no way to avoid the government getting in on the decision, so try to be kind to the lady they''ll send with a stack of tests and try to stay calm and do your best on them. I moved in here three years ago on Christmas Day of 1971, knowing as I knocked on the door that I was choosing this particular replacement for life with my mother because the foster mother, Laura, had the kind of home you''d be out of your mind not to settle into for good. My family was either dead or crazy, so there wasn''t the fall-back of concerned loved ones. In fact, my mother''s sister, Nadine, who looks sane in public, had created a no-room-at-the-inn situation during her and her daughter Dora''s festivities that caused me to strike out walking for Laura''s house. The next summer Laura notified the government that all was well and they could go ahead and draw up her parental rights paperwork. Lo and behold a letter arrived to say Social Service was fine with our arrangement as long as I could pass the mental stability tests meant to prove whether I was too much of a damaged goods personality to live with a nice individual permanently or if I needed to be demoted into a more routine nightmare orphan home. When Laura noticed me at the kitchen table with the letter and a resuscitated nail-biting habit, she said, You can''t prepare for tests like these, Ellen, and when I called to say it''s
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From the Publisher

This sequel to Gibbons''s beloved classic Ellen Foster stands on its own as an unforgettable portrait of a redoubtable adolescent making herself up out of whole cloth. Now fifteen, Ellen is settled into a permanent home with a new mother. Strengthened by adversity and blessed with enough intelligence to design a salvation for herself, she still feels ill at ease in the world. Her sole surviving ritual-a visit to the county fair-takes on totemic importance. While she holds fast to the shreds of her childhood-humoring her best friend, Stuart, who is determined to marry her; and protecting her old neighbor, slow-witted Starletta-she negotiates her way into a larger world by selling her poetry to pay her way to a camp for gifted students. With a singular mix of perspicacity, naïveté, and compassion, Ellen draws us into her life and makes us fall in love with her all over again.


Anyone considering making an underage change in life, such
as who you''re going to live with, should know there''s no way to
avoid the government getting in on the decision, so try to be
kind to the lady they''ll send with a stack of tests. Try to stay
calm and do your best on them.

-from The Life All Around Me By Ellen Foster

About the Author

KAYE GIBBONS is the author of seven bestselling novels. Her first novel, Ellen Foster, was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. That novel, as well as A Virtuous Woman, was chosen for Oprah?s Book Club. Gibbons lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Editorial Reviews

"The novel''s method of telling, in which Ellen herself is the story''s landscape, is also its signal strength. As [Ellen] uses her considerable resources to move toward understanding--and to react, equally, to old losses and sudden good fortune--we''re right there with her."

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