Tuesday, October 30, 2007
What Erika Wants by Bruce Clements
What Erika wants is to please everyone. Not a bad sentiment for a young girl to have but in Erika’s family it’s just about impossible. Erika’s mom left town several years ago and moved out west with her older sister. Now she’s back and she wants custody of Erika, and Erika’s father is not willing to let her go. Erika has been assigned her own lawyer, whose job it is to help her figure out what she wants and to take Erika’s wants to the judge.
One of the most striking things about this book is trying to figure out who is the adult. Erika is the youngest in age, but far and above the most mature. I think Erika’s father loves her, but he’s not really capable of showing outward affection. To be honest, I’m not sure why Erika’s mom wants her except to get back at the dad. Fortunately for Erika, her lawyer is wise enough to help her without telling her what to do, and in the end Erika makes the best decision for her, not for her mom and not for her dad.
The only problem I had with this book is that I think it will be a hard sell to kids. I’m just not sure how many of my students will appreciate it, but I feel that those who try will be rewarded.