Theodore Roosevelt
Letters From a
Young Coal Miner.

The Girl Who Lost Her Smile
“ An elegant, unusual story ” -Booklist, November 2000

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Harley, like a person
Written by Cat Bauer


Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 5/1/2000
"Bauer accurately depicts a straining relationship between two girls who were best friends in grade school and have now begun to drift apart, as they periodically ditch each other in favor of lunches and walks home with potential boyfriends. Harley's voice is true to teenage experience, scattered intensely in many directions at once, and the book captures the essence of teenage identity-seeking in the depiction of Harley's participation in many seemingly contradictory spheres. . . . Bauer handles the crisis with aplomb, painting a very real picture of a family who should have come forward with the truth before Harley discovered it alone. Bauer has created a vivid portrait of a teenage girl whose life is fraught with well-meaning deception; young-adult readers will sympathize with Harley's struggle. Recommended."


Publishers Weekly, 4/1/2000
"In her first novel, Bauer creates a witty and resilient narrator in fourteen-year-old Harley Columba. Harley is sure she is adopted. She can't believe she could belong to the alcoholic father who pushes her around. . . . As she finds clues that support her theory, she begins to lose her grip on her own identity; she starts dating a rebellious boy, experimenting with drugs, and getting in trouble at school. . . . The story finishes strong. Harley realizes that she must work through her own pain and try to find peace with the father who raised her. Readers will be rooting for this sympathetic heroine."


Amazon.com, What We're Reading, 4/1/2000
"The tough, funny fourteen-year-old narrator of Cat Bauer's debut novel is convinced she must be adopted. How could those ‘two psychos'—her out-of-control, alcoholic father and embittered mother—be Harley Marie Columba's biological parents? . . . Harley's search for her ‘real father' takes her to New York City and, finally, to the truth. Readers will devour this fresh, honest story of self-discovery."



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