March 21, 2017
The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
Cammie O’Reilly doesn’t get it. How can she miss someone she doesn’t even remember? But her mother died when Cammie was just a baby. That’s bad enough but she died pushing the baby buggy from in front of a milk truck. Twelve-year-old Cammie knows she doesn’t remember it but the rattle of milk bottles still bothers her.
The fact that Cammie doesn’t have a mother is only the first thing that sets her off from the other kids at school. She’s also the only kid living at the prison. No, she isn’t a convict. She’s the warden’s daughter and they live in an apartment where she can look out and see the women’s yard. It limits your prospects when you’re trying to find a new mom.
Cammie’s life revolves around the prison so much that she’s convinced that she’s good for the inmates. After reading an article about letting inmates have pets, she talks her father into letting her enter the women’s yard every morning throughout summer vacation.
Cammie’s access to the inmates boosts her status with her classmates but it puts her at odds with her best friend. Reggie wants the autograph of a notorious killer who murdered a girl from their very own town. She not only wants that signature, she wants Cammie to get it for her. Cammie doesn’t get it. This isn’t someone who shoplifted or set a fire like the women she knows. This is someone who killed a girl. A girl whose mother still misses her.
I’m not going to go into anything else as far as the plot goes. I want you to experience the twists and turns for yourself.
This wasn’t an easy book to read. Cammie is so angry that there are times I had troubles sympathising with her. But that’s okay. I wasn’t this kid and as a Mom it was hard to read. But there are kids who are going to need to experience Cammie’s story and see that it really is okay to be angry. Things can still work out.