"Filled with lively humor, compassion, and intimacy."
—Alice Hoffman, The New York Times Book Review
"When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy." With that opening sentence we enter the childhood world of one of the most appealing young heroines in contemporary fiction. Her courage, her humor, and her wisdom are unforgettable as she tells her own story with stunning honesty and insight. An Oprah Book Club selection, this powerful novel has become an American classic.
Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the Ernest Hemingway Foundation's Citation for Fiction.
The appealing, eponymous, 11-year-old orphan heroine of this Southern-focused debut survives appalling situations until she finds safe harbor in a good foster home. "Some readers will find the recital of Ellen's woes mawkishly sentimental,'' PW remarked, ``but for others it may be a perfect summer read.''