The Children’s Book Review | January 22, 2018
Written by Ruth Lehrer
Age Range: 12-16
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (2017)
What to Expect: Coming of Age, Transitional Times, Poverty, Family
Being Fishkill, which follows the life-changing journey of a 12-year-old girl born into unfortunate circumstances, will leave readers emotionally stunned as she is thrust into a new life after meeting a young girl named Chrissie “Duck Duck” Farina. Duck Duck is able to break through Fishkill’s rough exterior and bring her into a world she never knew existed.
Tweens and teenagers alike will be able to relate to Fishkill’s haunting need for love after being raised in a household where her mother is physically and sexually abused by her grandfather, a place where Fishkill herself is made to feel worthless and unloved all her life. Through Duck Duck’s friendship, Fishkill is introduced to a new life; one where a mother hugs and kisses her daughter every day, where trust is abundant, and where a mother comes home to her daughter every night. After raising herself for six months after her mother, Keeley, falls into a raging river, Fishkill now needs to learn to accept the new love she is shown while living with the Farina family as well as deal with the guilt she feels surrounding her mother’s disappearance.
When Fishkill’s mother returns from the dead, Fishkill must try and understand why her mother acted as she did helping readers see the books main message: every person has a reason for their choices whether they are good or bad, and it is up to us to try and see things from someone else’s perspective before judging them for who they are. This book could help shape understanding and perspective regarding sexuality, puberty, and poverty during a transitional period in their life. Additionally, Being Fishkill will help readers understand the circumstances of those who are less fortunate than themselves as well as show them that it is important to help others who are in need—one act of kindness could change a life. Recommended for readers ages 12-16.
About the Author
Ruth Lehrer is a poet, author, and American Sign Language interpreter. She lives in the woods of western Massachusetts.
Being Fishkill, by Ruth Lehrer, was reviewed by Samantha Sheridan. Discover more books like Being Fishkill by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Coming Of Age, Family, Homelessness & Poverty, and Puberty.