jueves, 5 de octubre de 2017

Murder mystery solved after several decades | MercatorNet |October 5, 2017| MercatorNet |

Murder mystery solved after several decades

MercatorNet |October 5, 2017| MercatorNet |

Murder mystery solved after several decades

Murder mystery solved after several decades

Jessie befriends an abused girl from a troubled family.
Jennifer Minicus | Oct 5 2017 | comment 
Quicksand Pondby Janet Taylor Lisle
written for ages 11-14 | not recommended
published in 2017 | Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 256 pages

The only member of Jessie Kettel’s family who seems excited about vacationing in Rhode Island is her father.  Her beautiful older sister Julia is too interested in her social life, abruptly cut short by a lack of cell phone reception. Her younger brother Jonathan misses their mom, who had to stay in Pittsburgh to work.  Jessie just doesn’t seem to get along with anyone these days.
When she sees the pond behind the rickety house they have rented, Jessie decides to explore.  She likes being alone and the reeds surrounding the water give cover. There she finds a raft, and it soon becomes her daily means of escape.
In her travels, Jessie befriends Terri, an abused girl from a family with a murky past. Jessie sees beyond appearances, though, and learns that Terri is vulnerable under her tough exterior. The two girls spend hours each day fixing up the old raft and sailing on the pond. They are even “befriended” by Henrietta Cutting, an absent-minded elderly woman who cannot forget her tragic past.
Meanwhile, Julia begins to date a young college boy who has a reputation for trouble. Terri confides to Jessie that he picks up the most unsuspecting girl around each summer and implies that he even got one girl pregnant, but his father “paid to have it taken care of”.
Janet Taylor’s novel combines themes of friendship and loyalty with a murder mystery. Jessie and Terri develop a relationship that they are forced to renounce. Terri gets in trouble with the law and disappears, leaving both Jessie and the reader wondering what will happen to her. Jessie’s parents believe Terri will lead Jessie astray, and Mr. Kettel even lies to the police to protect her. The author seems to want to make a statement about the judgmental attitudes of middle class families, but it is presented in such a trite manner that it comes off as preachy.
The most disappointing aspect of the book is the lost opportunity to develop the relationship between Henrietta Cutting and the two girls. As Henrietta mentally drifts between the past and the present, the truth about her parents’ murder is revealed. Jessie and Terri are patient and kind enough to befriend this older person, but are never given the chance. In the end, all three of them are separated and lonely. While this sort of conclusion may have literary appeal to adults, it will probably leave young readers dissatisfied.
Jennifer Minicus is a teacher living in Ridgewood, NJ.

October 5, 2017

According to Pew Research Center polling data published in January, pro-life opinion has lost some ground in recent years. Nevertheless, 37 percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal all or most of the time and 44 percent consider it immoral. Also many states impose restrictions such as waiting periods and on private insurance plans. A Texas law relating to abortion clinics reached the US Supreme Court last year.

What explains the remarkable endurance of the pro-life cause so long after its most significant legal defeat? William C. Duncan answers this question in a review of Defenders of the Unborn, a book about the history of the pro-life movement before 1973. It reminded me of the pioneers of the movement in my own country – similarly diverse -- and filled me with admiration both for all of them, and for those who carry the great cause of the humanity of the unborn child today.

A recommended read for the Irish who are facing a referendum next year on removing protection of the unborn child from their Constitution.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,
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Defenders of the Unborn: the virtue of steadfastness
By William C. Duncan
Chronicling the pro-life movement before Roe v. Wade.
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Murder mystery solved after several decades
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Jessie befriends an abused girl from a troubled family.
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