When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kay Gibbons s first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters Wise, funny, affectionate, and true, El When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kay Gibbons s first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Institute of Arts and Letters Wise, funny, affectionate, and true, Ellen Foster is, as Walker Percy called it, The real thing Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heartwrenching novel Ellen Foster is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character and a good deal endearing.
Ellen Foster When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy So begins the tale of Ellen Foster the brave and engagin
This is a short but powerful and a lot of the time a painful story Ellen Foster is a precocious eleven year old girl whose courage and strength and infinite wisdom carry her through things that no child should bear.I wanted to pull Ellen out of those pages and take care of her , get her away from her alcoholic father who for the most part has abandoned her and her miserable grandmother who takes her in for a period of time But ultimately it s Ellen who pulled me up from the despair I felt for he [...]
This would make a great book club pick It s a quick read and simply told, but with a lot of depth, and a powerful opening line that is a real attention grabber Ellen Foster is only 11 years old but is an old soul and there is a lot to be learned from her character The story is told through her voice and the author really gets into her head giving a sense for all she is thinking and feeling I felt it softened the tone coming from her perspective, but it really makes you think about the lifelong e [...]
It is hard not to fall in love with 11 year old Ellen Foster as she narrates her struggles thru her young life of abuse and repeated disappointments in search of a safe home and someone to love her She is so brave and bright and mature for her age, and will make you laugh in spite of it all Great book
When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy Ellen Foster grabs you with that first paragraph, and doesn t let go as she narrates her story Told with humor and honesty, the orphaned girl learns what is important about people in a rural southern town in the 1970s It s not possessions or the color of their skin, but the goodness in their hearts.Even though Ellen s childhood has been terribly difficult [...]
Ellen Foster is like Scout Finch without the support system of Atticus, Jem, and Calpurnia She s funny, courageous, level headed, fair minded and intelligent With very little help from anyone, she gets herself out of a very bad situation and into a good one and teaches herself some valuable lessons along the way I love Ellen Foster.
This is the first person story of Ellen Foster, a ten to eleven year old Southern girl whose mother commits suicide with the agreement of her abusive father Ellen is tough, smart, and a survivor After she is sent from the happy foster home of her art teacher to her mama s mama, a mean old woman, she says, it was just her and me Me to look after her not the other way around like you might expect That did not surprise me because I had just about given up on what you expect I just lived to see wha [...]
Old Ellen is how this 11 year old refers to herself, and as the reviewer on the back of the book cover says, she s as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character and a good deal endearing She tells her story in the first person and in the first sentence of the book she says, When I was little I would think of ways to kill my Daddy She meant it too, and believe me, he deserved it Her family was about as rotten as any family I have come across in literature What a read, I would rec [...]
The first line of Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons reads When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy Wow Talk about a powerful hook Eleven year old Ellen has been through than any child should experience Her father is alcoholic and abusive toward Ellen s mother Ellen just about raises herself in this dysfunctional household, the hero in the alcoholic family After her mother dies, she goes to live with her teacher and things would have been fine except her grandmother interferes and get [...]
What did I think That s the question asked when reviewing a book on I freakin loved it It is now on my favorite shelf I loved how she wished for eyes in the back of her head and she thought her head size was just this side of a defect , how she gave herself a new name and how she lived to see what would happen next Ellen Foster her story, her voice.what is there not to love about this 10 year old
This was a random library book sale purchase, chosen almost entirely for the title I set aside my usual dislike of child narrators and found an enjoyable voice driven novella about a fiesty ten year old who loses both her parents good riddance to her father, at least and finds her own unconventional family after cycling through the homes of some truly horrid relatives Just as an example, her maternal grandmother sends her out to work picking cotton.The book is set in the South, presumably in the [...]
I ve read lots of reviews of this book that were really positive All the quotes on the book itself are of course glowing with praise It was an Oprah s Book Club selection It got published A friend chose it for book club Many people apparently think this is a really amazing book I m not exactly sure what I m missing here I didn t hate it, but I was just kind of bored and not impressed The good thing is that it was a very short and easy book to read so I didn t feel like I wasted a lot of time If [...]
Little gem of a book and ultimately a very clever story about a horribly abused and neglected foster child Ellen is incredibly resilient and she s determined to find herself a loving home The story isn t depressing at all despite what its content would suggest Loved this book.
Ellen Foster, the child and narrator of this novel, is a wonderful creation She is everything that an adult would like to believe about an abused child being able to flourish once free The author makes it believable that Ellen, at eleven, twelve and thirteen, has the clarity of mind and freedom from emotion to recount her traumatizing life with full memory, matter of factness and an outstanding world view Don t get me wrong, I loved the plucky young fictional Ellen I loved the insight that the a [...]
Ellen Foster is one of those books I have to re read every few years The understanding of a pre pubescent and otherwise unlucky girl as she deals with the insanity of adult reality in the flatlandish southern US speaks of a seasoning beyond her years Her transparent naivt is obviously predicated on the awareness of the writer herself, but then, the book is using the disingenuousness natural to a child to make observations about the adult world This device, hardly new to the world when Kay Gibbon [...]
If you are looking for a book to take your breath away, this is the one.If you are looking for an exceptionally well written novel wherein each phrase, each sentence, each paragraph contains poetic beauty, then this is the one.If you are looking for a book that resonates deep within your soul, leaving you laughing, crying and simply not wanting it to end, then this is the book to read.And, I ll go out on a huge limb to say that if you choose to read only one of my recommendations this year, plea [...]
I give it 3 1 2 stars The most engaging aspect of this book is its protagonist s voice clear, unadorned, unsentimental Her tale is truly heartbreaking and therein lies what seems to me the book s primary flaw the book is too short I want to know in greater detail about Ellen s parents and the tragedy that befell her mother I want to know about the various homes she migrated through before finding her new mama I want to know about her friend Starletta and her family And the issue is not that I [...]
3.5 I loved this book pretty much from the first sentence, but it was this sentence that entrenched Ellen in my heart What did you expect Marry trash and see what comes of you I could have told anybody No young child should ever have the wisdom or the knowledge to say such a thing, and this perfectly explains how her life had been with her drunken father and sick mother This novel is in turn heartbreaking and amusing Some of the things she says, the way she views things through her own special l [...]
I picked this gem of a novel up at Borders going out of business sale on my way home from work last night and devoured it cover to cover in a couple of hours Eleven year old Ellen s uniquely insightful voice kept the tone of the novel from sinking into the saccharine sweetness of an annoyingly precocious child s narrative Her descriptions of attempted incest, rampant racism often her own , and domestic violence are all the horrific for the matter of fact way in which they are detailed Despite t [...]
Ellen Foster is a ten year old girl who is rejected by all her family.After the death of her weak willed and sick mother she is left mostly on her own, her father being a drunk and violent man and her closer relations wash their hands off their responsibility.A sad and heart warming story, in which a little girl has to face the world and find her own place in it, keeping the illusion alive, in spite of her desolate surroundings.Nothing new though.
Gibbons style reminds me of Cormac McCarthy For me, that s no compliment There are no quotation marks around the dialogue, making it harder to keep track of, and almost no commas as far as the eye can see Gibbons at least could claim a rationale for what in McCarthy I can only see as an affectation The first person narrator, Ellen Foster, is a child, poor and uneducated, so at least one could say the punctuation impoverished style fits her That doesn t mean I found the novel a pleasure to read, [...]
This is often presented to middle or high schoolers to read, but most will not make it without adult guidance And I believe it takes an adult mind to appreciate the voice the dialogue is always without quotation marks and understand the flashbacks and half child, half woman asides Abandoned, precocious Ellen suffers through being shifted from one uncaring relative to another until she finds a true home with foster parents If I remember correctly, Gibbons wrote this while she was in her late teen [...]
This Vintage Contemporaries novel, short in length but mighty in worth, is a bittersweet jewel Ellen Foster, surviving and thriving despite the unfair circumstances she was dealtpeatedly Such a winning message never lose your humor, courage, hope or determination While they were at the graveyard I decided that if I quit wasting time I could be happy as anybody else in the future, and right now with one year ending and a new one starting up I thought now was the time to get old Ellen squared away [...]
When I was eleven years old, and in sixth grade, I remember getting a bloody nose during school While I was holding the tissue to my hemorrhaging nostril, a mean spirited girl, whose mom had already picked a fight with my mom because I didn t invite her daughter to my birthday party that summer, commented loudly to the rest of the class, I bet she was picking her nose I still remember the humiliation I felt as several people started chanting nose picker nose picker Humiliation remembered, 22 yea [...]
Mixed Very good in parts, and in other ways it just didn t all hold together I didn t fall in love with the main character, Ellen, because despite her matter of fact narration and perspective on her own tormented childhood, she didn t feel like a real person to me She had a voice I couldn t imagine a real 11 year old using, even one who had gone through what Ellen had And at times she seemed far too adult to be plausible, while at others she seemed strangely naive not knowing her new mama s last [...]
When there s an Oprah Book Club logo on the front of a book published in the late 80s and early 90s you know there s bound to be some tough stuff ahead And young Ellen Foster is no exception When her mother dies from an overdose of prescription drugs in which her father played some part, she is left in his end stage alcoholic care Or, acurately, he is left in Ellen s care This book is all Ellen s And her voice is remarkable She is white southern, obviously on the wrong side of the tracks The on [...]
When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy One of the best opening lines for a book I have ever read Knocked me off my center of gravity right away, and I was left wondering what kind of evil little girl was I going to be reading about With an opener like that you might also think this book was somber and hopeless SomberSometimes, hopelessNO It turned out to be filled with hilarious laugh out loud [...]
Ellen Foster VintageBooks,1990,126pp 13.56 ISBN 0 7383 0477 8Kaye Gibbons When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy Ellen foster is not a homicidal girl out to kill her father, but a girl with a troubled past She has to endure a life with her alcoholic father after her mother passes away She moves from house to house trying to find a better life If you have ever lived with an alcoholic father then you might know just what Ellen is going through If you could imagine a father who is [...]
Oh my gosh, what a touching wonderful story As others have said in their reviews I just wanted to scoop up Ellen and have her come live at my house Her new mama gave her all the love she so craved and needed I loved every page.
In the fiction book I read Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, the main theme is determaination This book revolves around a ten year old girl who learns is looking for a family to love her The main character is Ellen Foster She struggles with trama and abuse after her mother commits suicide.The novel Ellen Foster focuses on a girl Ellen who struggles with abuse by her father After her mother commits suicide by overdosing on her pills Ellen must find herself a loving home and family to take her in afte [...]
I gave it 5 stars to get your attention, especially if you ve read the reviews by those who gave it only 1 or 2 stars I desire an argument with them, to rebutt their contentions that Ellen s character is not realistic and the book s ending is not sincere I hate to think that there are people out there who may contribute to decisions about society by voting or otherwise poloticking when they are denying that other realities exist Thus I would like to share the following points with anyone who wil [...]