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A Northern Light Book Review

Mattie Gokey unravels a mystery in Jennifer Donnelly's story, A Northern Light.
Courtesy of Harcourt Books
A Northern Light Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Check out Kidzworld's book review of Jennifer Donnelly's teen novel, A Northern Light.

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie Gokey is 16 years old and she has a whole lot of responsibility. Her mom died a few years ago and she's been left to take care of her dad and younger brothers and sisters. Most girls her age are getting married and having families of their own, but Mattie has other plans.

Dreams and Reality

Mattie is a girl with big dreams, but her dreams kind of die when her mom does. Mattie can't both take care of her family and go to college, so her aspirations to become a writer become impossible. She slowly begins to accept her new future as a farm wife, and even allows one of the cutest boys in town to start taking her out.

Mysterious Messages

One of Mattie's plans before her mom's death was to get a job at one of the local hotel's during the summer to raise cash for school. But, instead of raising money for school, Mattie ends up working her summer away to buy a new mule for the farm. While working at the hotel, Mattie begins to unravel a mystery about a couple of guests that suddenly go missing - which helps her to figure out a few things about herself too.


Complicated Tale

This story is told from the perspective of Mattie, but it kind of jumps around from past to present as she tells it. It makes it a little hard to follow at first, but as you continue along, the different aspects of the story begin to blend and make a really interesting and gripping tale.


The Bottom Line

If you're a fan of mystery novels, A Northern Light really delivers a nice twist. The story is set in the early 1900s, so at first you might find it hard to relate to Mattie, but in the end, she's facing the same dilemmas that we all face. Are we dating the right person? Are our parents being unfair? Should we follow our dreams? It's definitely worth picking up.


A Nothern Light Rating: 4


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