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Great Illustrated Books

Angel in My Pocket

By Ilene Cooper

Feiwel & Friends, 2011
Pages : 288
Suggested Ages: 9-12
ISBN: 0312370148

Writing with a genuine understanding of how kids feel, think and behave, and out of a belief that there are powers beyond our own that help us through difficult times, Ilene Cooper presents the story of four middle-school kids who are facing tough times.

“Do you believe in angels?” I asked Ilene recently.  “Angels,” she said, “or not.  But something, yes, I believe there’s something that we can reach out to for help.”

“Like …?

“Like angels, sometimes.  And sometimes just a special notice from a friend or from a stranger.  Just this morning,” Ilene went on, “the young woman at the coffee shop gave me an extra warm smile with my latte.  She turned my day around.”

Kids believe this, too.  It’s an almost necessary tool for surviving the preteen years.

Thirteen-year-old Bette is a talented singer, but she hasn’t been singing at all lately – not since her mother died. Making matters worse, her sister’s left for college and her father’s preoccupied with a jazz club that keeps him away from home a lot. Then Bette finds a coin with an angel embossed on it, and while it’s in her pocket, things start to turn around. 

Three of Bette’s classmates also benefit from the powers in the angel coin.  Joe who’s been getting into more and more trouble – stealing and bullying – finds a better way to cope.  And twins Vivi and Andy both discover new beginnings with the help of the angel charm.

Against the background of preparations for their school’s big musical production, each teen finds a new start and a way to contribute to the shared project that not only makes the most of their talents, but also lets some light shine through in this novel that touches on a popular belief and offers many reasons for hope.  And hope’s a thing every kid ought to hold on to.

Reviewed by : LLW

Themes : FRIENDSHIP. FAMILY LIFE. SCHOOL & SCHOOL STORIES. GRIEF.

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Critics have said

"The characters and setting are lovingly crafted, and readers will be left contemplating the roles of luck, magic, and inner strength in the kids' transformed lives."
Publishers Weekly

"Here is an entirely new twist on the angel trend."
From the Publisher