What It Is About: A Corner of the Universe takes the reader back to the 1950's and twelve-year-old Hattie's family. Hattie's grandparents are wealthy and the pillars of the town. Hattie's parents run the boarding house where their tenants come from a variety of walks of life. Hattie and her parents find it difficult to live up to the expectations of her grandmother. Hattie is somewhat of a loner and struggles to fit in with the other children in town. When Hattie finds out that she has an uncle that she didn't know about, her life is about to turn upside down. Adam is twenty-one years old and has spent most of his life at a school for "special" children. The school closes which sends Adam back to live with his parents. Hattie is surprised to learn that she has an uncle she didn't know about and nervous to meet him. After their initial meeting, Hattie is thrilled to spend time with Adam and has a summer like she has never known before. The summer has both its ups and downs, but changes Hattie's family forever.
What I Thought Of It: As I drove to and from the Reading Summit, this story provided me hours of entertainment. I loved the story of Hattie, her family, and the return of Uncle Adam. The writing was beautiful and really captured that time in our history and what it was like to live during these years in a small town. The cast of characters were out of this world and added so greatly to the story. I found Hattie and Adam's relationship quite special and really enjoyed "watching" them get to know each other and bond. There were a few "big" surprises that added to the plot and made for an engaging read. The only downfall of this novel was that it took me so long to finally get to it.
Who Should Read It: In my opinion, I think this book would make for an excellent read aloud in grades four, five, or six. There are so many elements in the book that would lend itself to great class discussions. Independent readers in grades five, six, and seven would find this a riveting read. I would also recommend this novel to any readers that have read other stories by Ann M. Martin. She is a talented and gifted writer. Happy Reading!
Rating: 5 STARS out of 5 Stars