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The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood

The Man Who Loved Clowns

by June Rae Wood

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182265,058 (4.3)5



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A very poignant story, a great read. ( )
  cougargirl1967 | Mar 13, 2014 |
Mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, it has that emotionally manipulative feeling I don’t like. On the other hand, it really makes you think about the best ways to care for the handicapped and how good intentions, like Shirley’s, can be stifling. It makes you think about how we treat those who are different than us. It does a great job of depicting Delrita’s effort to figure out what her own place in the world is. And all that’s great—it would be hard to find a book to replace this one with on the summer reading list. And yet I found the emotional burden to be too high. I often felt distressed and uncomfortable while reading the book—indeed, I read the whole thing in one night in the hope that if I kept reading, things would improve and I could feel better. But the end doesn’t totally bring you there, in two ways, both related to Delrita’s hobby of woodcarving. **SPOILER ALERT** She tries, for the first time, making a swan with its wings outstretched. It is her best work, and she plans to give it to Avanelle as a peace offering. But Punky sneaks into her room and takes it, “trading” it for some broken crayons, then gives it to his friend from the workshop. I felt awful, and I don’t feel that that feeling is resolved. Maybe you’re supposed to think it’s okay because the woman really likes the swan, but I didn’t—I felt that Delrita had had something beautiful stolen from her, and it made me angry. And then, Delrita is carving Punky one last clown (she has made him several). He dies before she can finish it. Why? It’s these repeated blows that make me find the book manipulative. I’m also not carried away with the writing—it can be juvenile and clunky. Maybe that’s intentional, so that it sounds like the voice of a girl—and it does—but it’s an issue just the same. ( )
  jholcomb | Jan 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142404225, Paperback)

Delrita likes being invisible. If no one notices her, then no one willnotice her uncle Punky either. Punky is a grown man with a child's mind. Delrita loves him dearly and can't stand people making fun of his Down's syndrome. But when tragedy strikes, Delrita's quiet life—and Punky's—are disrupted forever. Can she finally learn to trust others, for her own sake and Punky's? This story captures the joy and sorrow that come when we open our hearts to love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

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Thirteen-year-old Delrita, whose unhappy life has caused her to hide from the world, loves her uncle Punky but sometimes feels ashamed of his behavior because he has Down syndrome.

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