Fogelin, Adrian

Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
Crossing Jordan (2000)
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-A contemporary story set in Tallahassee, FL, of interracial friendship despite parental opposition, with a clear purpose and predictable outcome. Twelve-year-old Cass befriends African-American Jemmie when her family moves into the house next door. The girls both love to run and become instant friends, racing each morning. They also read Jane Eyre together, analyzing and alternating chapters. Calling themselves "Chocolate Milk," the girls derive inspiration from Jemmie's wise, gospel-singing grandmother and set an example of understanding for both families. Cass, however, must keep their friendship a secret from her racist father until her baby sister's heatstroke compels Jemmie's indignant mother to volunteer her nursing skills. From then on, Cass's grateful parents are solicitous of their new neighbors and both families cheer the girls to a dramatic finish in a fund-raiser race. Jemmie is wisecracking and confident, challenging her responsible and reflective friend to be the first in her family to aspire to a college degree. Some of the parental reasons for racial mistrust are exposed, civil rights history is touched on, and an upbeat ending results. Although several clich?d remarks and reactions seem contrived, Jemmie and Cass are likable, lively characters, and readers will enjoy the repartee between them.
Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
Anna Casey's Place in the World (2001)
From School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Anna is the heroine of this orphan tale that has no real surprises and the standard, feel-good ending. A 12-year-old who has run out of relatives to care for her, she ends up in a foster home with a distant, first-time foster mother and a 10-year-old boy from a neglectful home. A colorful biology teacher and local conservationist from the neighborhood strike up a friendship with the children, as do Cass and Jemmie, the memorable runners from the author's Crossing Jordan (Peachtree, 2000). Set in the same blue-collar neighborhood during a Florida summer, the plot hinges on Anna's need for permanency and her desire to be accepted for who she is. Numerous subplots, including a homeless Vietnam vet, a wooded area being cleared for a sand mine, an adult romance, and the foster brother's long-term placement, at times detract from the arc of the story. Through her natural-sounding, first-person narrative, Anna comes off as being polite, eager to please, and with a great love of the world around her. Useful as a companion volume to Crossing Jordan or where a quiet story of belonging is needed.

Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
My Brother's Hero (2002)
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8-Thirteen-year-old Ben, mentioned in Crossing Jordan (Peachtree, 2000) as Cass's childhood friend, narrates this story. Here, the two are developing romantic feelings for one another, although Cass makes but a brief appearance. Ben goes with his family to the Florida Keys for Christmas to mind his uncle's marina. He meets bold and brassy Mica, 11, who lives on a boat with her alcoholic, inattentive father, a marine biologist; her mother is supposedly a famous ballerina "on The Continent." She takes over the family's holiday. She knows the Latin name for seemingly every species of ocean life, motors around the mangroves in a Zodiac, and takes Ben and his younger brother on myriad adventures, including the inevitable one where they almost get lost at sea. He continues to think of Cass, back home in Tallahassee, and the special present he left for her. Longer and slower than the earlier title, and not as compelling, this book has trouble finding a focus as it is partly about child neglect, sibling rivalry, and oceanography, and is also a coming-of-age story.
Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
Sister Spider Knows All (2003)
From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-Rox, 12, can count on one finger what she knows about her mother-her name, Helen. The girl's life consists of her grandmother, Mimi; her 23-year-old cousin, John Martin; and the "Show," a flea market where she helps sell grapes and other odds and ends to make ends meet at home. Then Lucy, John Martin's girlfriend, enters the picture. She comes from money and wants to change the way Rox's family looks at the world. Rox also finds the diary her mother wrote as a teenager and, with Lucy's help, begins to piece together a picture of the woman she never knew. Fogelin captures the fragility of this unique family with a lot of humor and great characters. The secondary figures add a lot to the development of Rox's personality, including the Show, which is a strong motivator in the protagonist's life. Set in Tallahassee, FL, the story has universal themes of coming of age and searching for one's identity. Reluctant readers will like the short, fast-paced chapters.
Shilo Halfen, Chicago Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
The Big Nothing (2004)
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7-9–Pudgy, quiet Justin Riggs, 13, has a lot to say, at least internally. His father leaves home; his mother is so shattered by arguments, put-downs, and suspicion that she withdraws to bed; and his older brother, Duane, has enlisted and is sent to Iraq. His best friend has a girlfriend, leaving little time for him, and he feels abandoned. His coping mechanism is to withdraw into a state that Justin thinks of as "The Big Nothing." However, popular Jemmie just won't let him sit in silence, and the more she interacts with him, the more interested in her he becomes. When her warm and worldly-wise grandmother discovers his talent for playing the piano, he finds a more productive escape. However, the bills keep piling up at home, he may be failing English, and he worries about his brother. Continuing her exploration of a Tallahassee neighborhood and its middle schoolers first introduced in Crossing Jordan (Peachtree, 2000), Fogelin plots a thoroughly engaging story of teen angst, multicultural and political divisions, and a natural desire of neighbors to come to one another's aid. The characters may be doves, hawks, or mélanges in between, but they are sincere in their beliefs and yet can find room in their hearts to pull together for Duane. Serious and humorous by turns, this seemingly simple story is actually quite complex but not weighty and will be enthusiastically embraced.–Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors
The Sorta Sisters (2007)
Anna Casey likes living in Florida with Miss Johnette, her foster mother. Best of all Miss Johnette wants to adopt Anna. Still, it is hard grow into a new life and a new school, when you ve been rootless nearly all of your life.

By chance, Anna starts up a correspondence with Mica, who lives on a sailboat with The Captain, her beloved but often absent father. But beneath the surface of Mica s exotic, footloose lifestyle is a similar sense of longing to belong to some place and someone.

Then Mica gets good news: her father plans to anchor the boat in Florida Keys for a year. Now she can go to school just like other kids. But her long-distance friendship with Anna gets off track when Mica makes a school friend. And just when Anna is feeling shut out by Mica, she suddenly has to share Miss Johnette s attention with Mr. Webster, a new suitor. When the Captain s parenting style is finally deemed unfit, it may be that Anna and Miss Johnette are the only ones who can help Mica.


Fogelin, Adrian - Florida Authors

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