Ellen Foster

Ellen Foster

A Novel

Book - 1987
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Having suffered abuse and misfortune for much of her life, a young child searches for a better life and finally gets a break in the home of a loving woman with several foster children.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill ; Dallas, Tex. : Taylor Pub. Co., 1987.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780912697529
Branch Call Number: Y/GIBB
Characteristics: 146 p. ; 19 cm.


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Jan 20, 2020

I was grabbed by the first line.

Jul 07, 2019

I thought I would love it, but that didn't happen. There were things to appreciate, but in the end it just didn't work for me. Ellen is an 11-year old who narrates her own story of abuse, neglect, and trauma. I think Gibbons is a talented writer and she did a very good job with Ellen's narrative voice. Other reviews and the jacket blurbs all talk about how funny Ellen is but I read this novel stony-faced. I'm sure it's a personal thing for me; perhaps the work I do has made it impossible for me to ever find a moment of humor in such a story.

Jul 16, 2015

July 12 2015......I read this book because I needed a book with a female heroine for the summer reading challenge. (and it was a short one!) I found the writing style a little hard to follow at first, but soon became accustomed to it. All in all, not a bad book.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 25, 2014

A young girl from the Southern backwoods who is wise beyond her years is abused, neglected, and left to find refuge in a world of predatory adults. A heart-rending tale of courage, wit, and purpose.

Jun 22, 2013


Powerful opening that grabs you immediately, this novel is told from the perspective of a 10 year old facing many adult challenges. While daunting, Ellen exercises considerable agency while maintaining a believeable voice.

KRockstar10 Apr 28, 2013

Wow, what a book. At a whopping 126 pages, I wasn't sure it could pack much of a punch, but the ending really gets to you.

Oct 07, 2012

Written by Gibbons when she was 27, and perhaps based partially on her life, this is a coming of age story of 11 year old Ellen Foster. Ellen escapes difficult circumstances to find a loving home but this precocious girl is still emotionally damaged. Her voice is without self-pity and seems authentic.

Nov 08, 2007

Oprah's book club.


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