Parents' Guide to

The Warden's Daughter

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Heartbreaking story of motherless girl's grief, healing.

The Warden's Daughter Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 1 parent review

age 10+
This book is amazing for teenagers or preteens who are struggling with their emotions.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli's story about a girl imprisoned by her own grief and anger is an achingly realistic story about confronting our demons, despite its contrived, too-easy ending. The Warden's Daughter is at its best as it follows Cammie furiously pedaling through the streets or holed up in the prison, nursing her wounded heart. The backward-looking narrative assures us that bad times do indeed pass. Spinelli dials up the sense of perspective with a strong historical setting: an era when the TV show American Bandstand is all the rage, girls don't play ball, and white kids steer clear of the black part of town.

Spinelli (Stargirl, Eggs) takes problematic shortcuts to clean up after Cammie's "bad time" -- post-epiphany, she swiftly goes from angry outcast to well-liked classmate, and the absence of nurturing adults is portrayed as deliberate and helpful. Another misstep is the stereotyping of Boo Boo, a joyful, obese black inmate who showers attention on Cammie.

Book Details

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