Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 2008
Genres: General, Juvenile Nonfiction, Poetry
JoEllen’s parents divorced when she was very young, so she was used to splitting her time between them, shuttling four blocks from one Cincinnati apartment to another. But when her dad moved to the old family farm last year, her life was suddenly divided. Now on weekdays she’s a city girl, called Ellen, who hangs out with her friends, plays the sax, and loves old movies. And on weekends she’s a country girl, nicknamed Joey, who rides horseback with her cousin, Hayden, goesfishing, and listens to bluegrass. So where do her loyalties lie? Who is the real JoEllen? Linked free-verse poems, illustrated with a quirky array of found objects and mementos, create the vivid, realistic portrait of a young girl at a defining moment in her life.
The premise of ’42 Miles’ by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer was good. The writing was actually very good. The difficulty is with the way it was laid out. It was very difficult to follow the story at times. I think the attempt to mirror a book of poetry while remaining prose created a conflicting story line. The way the pages jumped to different ideas while at other points tried to tell a chronological story left me feeling a little out of the loop. The story and writing has amazing potential but fell flat of what the intentions were.