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Babyface    by Norma Fox Mazer order for
by Norma Fox Mazer
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2007 (1990)

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Fourteen-year-old Toni Chessmore knows she is lucky. She has a perfect family and a perfect best friend who lives right next door. But during the summer of her fourteenth year things begin to fall apart. Her best friend's parents decide to separate and Julie moves with her mother to San Francisco. The move is supposed to be just for the summer. Next Toni's dad has a near fatal heart-attack.

Toni is shipped off to New York to stay with her sister Martine while her parents attend an out-of town Wellness Center to learn how to cope with her dad's health problems. Toni hardly knows Martine. She is much older and has never lived near her family. During her visit, Toni discovers that she hardly knows her parents either. While her life has been ideal until lately, Martine's childhood left her scarred, unsure of herself and unable to be close to anyone.

Toni realizes that she has led a sheltered life. Things are not always as they seem. She gains a new understanding, and her relationships with her sister, her friend, and her parents benefit from it. Although Toni's story is told in third person, Toni's letters to her friend Julie offer an intimate look into her thoughts and feelings. Newbery Honor-winning author Norma Fox Mazer has written a sincere novel about relationships.

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