Parents' Guide to

Alida's Song

By Megan McDonald, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Teen breaks through veneer of hurt and shyness.

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This sauntering, cadenced tale matches the steady, unhurried pace of a farm in summer. In contrast to Gary Paulsen's high-powered action-adventure novels, this is a survival story of a different sort. Defeat turns to direction for an introspective 14-year-old boy when he glimpses a kinder side of life beyond the neglectful, alcoholic stupor of his parents in their grubby, rundown apartment, a sorry excuse for a home.

At the farm, the boy newly finds himself in the maternal embrace of his compassionate grandmother, where he is able to break through the veneer of hurt and shyness. A final memorable scene, in which he dances with his grandmother to an old song, sets the tone for a better life ahead.

Book Details

  • Author: Gary Paulsen
  • Genre: Family Life
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publication date: January 1, 1999
  • Number of pages: 88
  • Last updated: September 14, 2015

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