All the Greys on Greene Street


Twelve-year-old Olympia, or Ollie, is trying to figure things out. What she knows so far is that a week ago her father left and went to France leaving Ollie and her mother to wonder if he's ever coming back. About the same time as her father's departure, her mother decided not to get out of bed. There's money on the dresser for Ollie to call for food and Ollie knows her way around her neck of the woods which is the SoHo neighborhood of New York City in 1981.

Ollie told her friend Richard that her mother wasn't getting out of bed and Richard asked the all important question. What will happen to you if she never gets up? On top of that disturbing reality, Ollie is also holding onto the secret of the note that her father left for her. Not for her mother. He left it for Ollie.

So, Ollie is living a mystery. She's surrounded by friends, Richard the thinker and Alex, the cat burglar boy and Apollo, the man who is her father's business partner. Apollo is an artist in his own right. As is Ollie's mother.

In a world infused with creativity and artistic potential, Ollie works at figuring out herself, figuring out her mother and figuring out what could have taken her father away to France.

This is a story that feels like dark clouds are hanging over it. This is a story that truly conveys the pain of depression when you are the child and your mother isn't acting like your mother anymore. A painful tale with resilience and acceptance at its core.

320 pages              978-0451479532             Ages 9-13

Keywords:  family, fears, mother/daughter, depression, mental illness, art, mystery, fathers, abandonment, friendship, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, resilience, hope

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

*********** SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist--and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.

Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .

Olympia knows her dad is the key--but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.--from the publisher

320 pages              978-0451479532             Ages 9-13

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