STARRED REVIEW
September 2014

A quirky heroine shares her outlook on life

By Barry Jonsberg
Twelve-year-old Candice Phee figures that her life needs fixing. Her father and her uncle need to end their longtime feud, and her mother needs to find a way out of her depression. Also, her pen pal Denille needs to finally write back, and her new friend Douglas needs to return to the real home he claims is in Another Dimension. Candice knows she can solve these problems, big and small, because she’s daring, determined and bursting with creative ideas.
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Twelve-year-old Candice Phee figures that her life needs fixing. Her father and her uncle need to end their longtime feud, and her mother needs to find a way out of her depression. Also, her pen pal Denille needs to finally write back, and her new friend Douglas needs to return to the real home he claims is in Another Dimension. Candice knows she can solve these problems, big and small, because she’s daring, determined and bursting with creative ideas.

Like Maggie in The Meaning of Maggie, Candice reports on the world exactly as she sees it, even if that’s sometimes different from the perspectives of those around her. (Although she shows some signs of autism, she insists that she’s not autistic. She’s just being herself.) But what stands out about Candice’s unique and well-developed voice is the way she navigates between serious subjects like the death of her baby sister and light topics like Douglas’ pan-universal travel plans. Like the lives of her readers, Candice’s life is sometimes messy, sometimes difficult, sometimes funny, but always hopeful.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2014 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee

The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee

By Barry Jonsberg
Chronicle
ISBN 9781452133515

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