Publisher: Tundra Books
Jules is eleven years old, and her alcoholic father has no issues leaving her at home for days at a time. Jules has to take care of herself, and hope that her father, at least remembered to stock the fridge. After school is long and lonely when no one is home, and Jules often visits the mall to gaze at a doll that she hopes she’ll get for Christmas. She sits in the aisles and reads, eventually going home and tucking herself in for bed. When the nights are scary, she builds a fort to shut out the world. The saleslady at the mall often talks to Jules, and eventually takes matters into her own hands. Jules is placed into foster care, and wants nothing more than to return home to her father. Her father has a lot of prove to the courts, and doesn’t seem to makes Jules a priority.
I thought Shadow Girl was an interesting read. Jules was a great, resilient character. Regardless of her father’s faults, she loved him and wanted to be with him. Her mother ran off, long ago and Jules is very forgiving of her father. When he begins to come around less and less, she has a hard time realizing that he doesn’t see her as a priority. Her time in foster care is heartbreaking. She’s placed into a home that treats her like a temporary boarder. She’s not to interact with the teenage girls, and she doesn’t have the same privileges as them. She’s told to appreciate that they’ve taken her into their home when her father refused.
Shadow Girl is a short read but an important read. Jules immediately captures reader’s hearts. I thought it was a great read, and I’ll keep Jules in my memory. She can easily be the little girl next door. As I was reading the book, it felt timeless but at times the author would mention things like “American Bandstand” and I be forced to focus on the time period. Overall, I really enjoyed this one.