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Grade 5-7 Twelve-year-old Parable Ann (``Rabble'') and her mother, Sweet Hosanna, live over the Bigelows' garage. Sweet-Ho is the hired help for the Bigelows, while Rabble is best friends with their daughter, Veronica. As the story opens, the two girls are working on a family tree assignment, and this somewhat worn device serves to introduce the characters. After a slow start, the pace picks up, but while Rabble's life is eventful enough, nothing much seems to happen possibly because the narrative is so low-key as to be almost soporific. Rabble and Veronica reluctantly befriend elderly, grumpy Millie Bellows; Veronica begins to show an interest in boys; Veronica's mentally unstable mother is institutionalized after nearly drowning her young son; and the beginnings of romance spring up between Sweet-Ho and Veronica's father. But while all this is going on, readers learn more about the secondary characters than about Rabble herself, despite the fact that she is the narrator. Although she has the potential to be a strong character, she never comes to life. The narration is littered with vernacular``So we was friends,'' ``Without no exceptions''which is annoying, although it lends a touch of realism to the story. Lowry's fans will read this despite its flaws, but it's a disappointing effort. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Public Library, Ill.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"In this vigorous story [Lowry] shows the full dimensions of her talent....Surely and sensitively written...Lois Lowry should stand up and take a bow."--Booklist, starred review.
A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner.