by Ann M. Martin | Grades: 4-6 | Ages 9-12 | Lexile Level: 750
About A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.
The summer Hattie turns 12, her predictable small-town life is turned on end when her uncle Adam returns home for the first time in over ten years. Hattie has never met him, never known about him. He's been institutionalized; his condition involves schizophrenia and autism.
Hattie, a shy girl who prefers the company of adults, takes immediately to her excitable uncle, even when the rest of the family -- her parents and grandparents -- have trouble dealing with his intense way of seeing the world. And Adam, too, sees that Hattie is special, that her quiet, shy ways are not a disability.
"This bittersweet and quiet story of friendship and loss will appeal to younger readers, as well as to those who have carried the title of "different."--Voice of Youth Advocates, December 1st, 2002
"Told in the present tense in Hattie's personable voice, the story takes on serious concerns but has equally strong standing as the kind of novel kids mean when they ask for 'a book about friends.'"--Horn Book Magazine, January, 2003--starred review
"It is Martin's characters that shine, especially Hattie, who is trying to feel her way through family secrets, and Adam, whose valiant efforts to forge a life for himself are as uplifting as his failures are heartrending. The supporting characters are strong pillars that hold up the rest of the story, and their subtle depictions provide a depth that makes it much more than a 'problem novel.' This is a fully realized roller coaster of emotions, and readers take the ride right along with Hattie."--Booklist, December 2002--starred review
Biographical Notes About Ann M. Martin
Ann M. Martin is the creator of The Baby-sitters Club, which has more than 176 million books in print, making it one of the most popular series in the history of publishing. Her novels include A Corner of the Universe (a Newbery Honor Book), Belle Teal, Here Today, A Dog's Life, On Christmas Eve, and the Main Street and Family Tree series, as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More, with Paula Danziger. Ann lives in upstate New York.