Tallahassee Higgins Paperback – Apr 1988
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From Publishers Weekly
In Hahn's sensitive and witty story, Talley learns that she will always love her flighty mother, even though they may never be able to live together. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8 Twelve-year-old Tallahassee Higgins, raised by her free-spirited single mother Liz, has lived a life without cufews, study times, and well-balanced meals. Except for curiosity about her father's identity, it is a life Tally loves and a life she is about to lose. Liz is moving to California with her current boyfriend to chase a Hollywood acting dream, leaving Tally in Maryland with an uncle and aunt whom she has never met. Aunt Thelma is a critical strict woman who is determined to keep Tally from following in Liz' irresponsible footsteps. Tally isn't much more welcomed by other townspeoplesomething she can't understand until she learns who her father was and the truth about her parents' relationship. Torn between love and loyalty for her mother and the increasingly obvious realities of Liz' nature, Tally vacillates between anger and fantasy until a crisis forces her to confront and accept her life and loved ones as they are, not as she wishes they were. This novel is memorable for its realistic portrayal of human vulnerabilities and the careful balance of humor and heartache. Hahn writes about contemporary issues with all of the necessary elements of good fictionan interesting story with a beginning, middle, and end; sympathetic main characters who grow through experience; and a cast of well-rounded supporting characters. There are no weak links in this literary chain. Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, Wis.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
There are two principal conflicts in the story. The first and most realistic in my opinion is Tallahassee's longing for her mother, longing to be with her. It is obvious to the reader and all the characters except Tallahassee herself that Liz is not going to pick her up anytime within the near future. Quite conceivably Tallahassee will be living with her aunt and uncle for years. Liz, like Kathy in Rainbow Jordan, loves her daughter in her own way but is not capable of taking care of her. And, like Rainbow, Tallahassee doesn't see this and regards her mother as something close to an angel. She's got a lot to learn.
The second conflict is Tallahassee's pondering as to who her father was. Liz never said. Tallahassee only knows that she isn't blonde and beautiful like her mom; she has freckles and big teeth and red hair. "You take after your father," Liz always said. Tallahassee never gave the matter much thought till she saw a photograph of Liz's long-dead childhood sweetheart who used to live in the neighborhood...and he looks just like her.
The young man, who was killed in Vietnam, does in fact turn out to be Tallahassee's father.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Eventually Tallahassee's mother decides to plop her down with her uncle Dan and her strict Aunt Thelma so it will be easier for her to pursue her fanciful dreams out west. Tallahassee believes just about as much as her mother does that one day everything will turn out great for them and then her mom will send for her, so she has no qualms about telling everyone she meets about her mom the future movie star and how she isn't going to be living with Aunt Thelma's insufferable rules and condescending comments about her immature mom very long.
But slowly, she starts to listen to the messages her more mature aunt gives her about her mother, and she realizes that her mother isn't a perfect person who can do no wrong. I remember poor desperate Talley spending her silver dollars trying to get as far west as possible, no plan in hand much like her mother, and all the pain she had to deal with in accepting that sometimes you love and trust people who just aren't good for you, even if they're related by blood. I also really liked that Aunt Thelma, despite being much better for Tallahassee's stability and emotional growth than her mother was, did have some flaws and was sometimes harsh (can you say judging the apple for the sins of the tree?)--it was enough to really make me feel for Talley. I love when books don't have just a Wise Old Adult who's perfect and all their wisdom is shown as Ultimate Truth by the end.
My nine year old son reads faster than books can be written (so it seems lol) so I am always trying to find new material for him to read. I had the idea to find some of my old favorites and see if he likes them. While he finds them a little old-fashioned (Why can't she just Google it? What-there was no internet? You're old, Mom!), he seems to like the actual stories. We've gone through about 10 of my old favorites, and this one seems to be one of his faves too.
I could have gotten this at a used book store for less, but I didn't have time for the trip. So I was perfectly fine paying for a new one...and luckily the paperback was pretty cheap!
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