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  A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Review by: Betsy M.
Missouri, Grade 7


The book A Northern Light is a drama written by Jennifer Donnelly. It takes place in 1906 on a farm in the North Woods. A girl named Mattie Gokey is a plain 16 year old girl who lives with her three sisters and her father. Mattie's dream is to go o college and become a writer, but her pa needs her help on the farm and she dosent have the money.

Mattie Gokey is a strong willed girl who loves words. She looks up a word every day in her tattered dictionary and tries to use it that day. Her teacher, Ms.Wilcox,thinks she has real writing potential and wants her to go to college. But Mattie's dreams of becoming a writer soon becom very difficult.

Royal Loomis is Matties neighbor and by far the most hansom boy around. When Mattie and Royal start sparking' Mattie wonders if Royal can see past plain brown hair and brown eyes to whats inside of her' even though they have nothing in common. Royal's dream is to become a farmer and get as much land as possible. All of the sudden Royal asks Mattie to marrie him and she says yes. Mattie's struggles lead her to think about where she belongs in the world:Barnard college, or with Royal Loomis.

Mattie's pa finally allows her to work at the Glenmore when times get hard to help out with the money. While she is there, a young woman named Grace Brown makes Mattie promise to burn the bundle of letters she has in her hand. The next day Grace Brown's body was found at the bottom of the lake. Grace drowned on a boat ride with Carl Gram, but Carl's body was not found. Mattie knows that the letters would help her find out what went on. She tries to think of what Grace Brown would do now that she's dead , and struggles with keeping her promise or finding the truth.

This book was a great romance, drama, and mystery all mixed in one novel. I really liked this book because its all about staying true to yourself. I liked that even though Mattie goes through some hard times, she knows what she wants and goes for it. I cant think of any part of this book that could have been better. To find out what Mattie will do, you'll have to read the book, A Northern Light!

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