The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
Date Started: June 24,2009 Date Finished: June 24, 2009
Summary: May is a shy girl who is used to being tormented by her neighbor and lifetime friend, Peter Camp. She is overshadowed by her older and younger sister, Brooks, and Palmer who are softball superstars. May or her given name, Mayzie, is trying to deal with the death of her father. Her mother is busy working, her older sister is getting caught up into the wrong crowd and her younger sister acting like a zombie and throwing herself into the television and her softball.
Likes: In the end, it is a cute and heartwarming story about a girl who is searching for some closure in her father's death. Each of her sisters and her mother deal with this in their own ways. May turns to her studies and tries to keep up her grades. She has a part time job at the Presto Expresso (like bootleg starbucks), but the only thing she doesn't have is her driver's liscense. Her father's golden Pontiac Firebird sits waiting for someone to drive it and waiting for the closure. What the girls do to honor their father is so cute, beautiful, and sweet. I found myself rooting for them to honor their father the best way they could and I am glad that they figured that out.
Dislikes: One of things that I notice, the same thing that happened with the last Maureen Johnson story is that we never get a sense of who the father, Mike Gold, is or was. All we get is the after effects and how his death affected the girls. I just wished that we got one specific memory that emcompasses Mike which would allow us to see just exactly why his death was so tragic and how the girls became closer and gained some closure.
Overall: I enjoyed this story a lot. One of the great things about Johnson's writing is the vividness of her locations and settings. I can't wait to read the next few of her books, hopefully ones that are not so depressing.