Monday, January 21, 2008
Miracle on 49th Street
Miracle on 49th Street
Philomel Books, 2006
Molly has had a rough year. Born and raised in London, she and her mother move back to Boston when her mother is diagnosed with cancer. After her mother dies, Molly goes to live with Barbara, her mom’s best friend from college, and her family. Barbara, Mr. Evans, and their daughter Kimmy are all kind but they aren’t family. Family is what Molly needs. Family is what Molly craves. She has never known her father but just before she dies her mother tell her who her father is: Josh Cameron, the most famous sports personality in the world (think Michael Jordan). Although she loved Josh, Molly’s mother realized that his primary interests would always remain basketball and himself, so she chose to not tell him she was pregnant and go to live in Europe.
Molly, however, is willing to take risks to gain a family. She and her best friend Sam concoct a scheme for her to meet him alone so that she can tell him who she is. The meeting goes disastrously – Josh doesn’t believe that she’s his daughter. After a second, equally frustrating meeting, Josh’s housekeeper and substitute mother finds out about Molly and insists that Josh apologize and get to know her. But as Molly learns more about her father, she realizes that maybe her mother was right – Josh will never be able to see beyond himself and basketball. But this book is entitled Miracle on 49th Street for a reason.
Here’s my confession: I love the sappy, the sweet, the good, happy-ending story. Yes, I also love teenage problem fiction, but sometimes I need to have the happy and I loved this book. Like Molly’s favorite movie, Miracle on 34th Street, this book had its unrealistic elements, but who cares? It made me happy and that’s all that matters ☺
One one interesting note: I searched online for reviews of this book and one that I read was clearly written by a student who said it wasn’t a YA book because “Although the main character is a teenager, there is hardly any slang and no cursing.” I wasn’t aware that these were important criteria for defining YA novels. I always thought a YA novel was a novel that appeals to young adults. Silly me.