The Warden’s Daughter (hardcover)
by Jerry Spinelli
AR Level 4.1, 9 points
The Warden’s Daughter is about a girl named Cammie O’Reilly, and her father is the warden of a prison in a small town. She is knows for being an angry girl, a tomboy, and she’s almost a celebrity for living in the jail, but she has one best friend who likes her despite her bad attitude. Really, Cammie is lonely without a mother, angry she never got to know her, and determined to make one of the prisoners into a mother figure. Her father is attentive, but rarely discusses her mother, so Cammie is left with few facts and no memories. In the end, Cammie learns some very surprising things about the people she’s loved, and reflects on them as an adult.
What I liked about this book was the storytelling. Jerry Spinelli is a great storyteller, and he includes details from the time period that make the setting realistic and the characters powerful. This wasn’t my favorite Spinelli story, but it was unusual and one that I will remember.
What I didn’t enjoy about this book was that it had some really slow parts. I wanted to give up on this book a few times, but I’m glad I didn’t, because it was an interesting ending, one I didn’t predict.
Book 44 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)