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What I Call Life by Jill Wolfson
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What I Call Life

by Jill Wolfson

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In the audio presentation, the story came off a little more precious and dear than it might have if I had read it in print. The other girls Cal meets in the Pumpkin House seemed more innocent and untouched than their histories indicated. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Cal Lavender is sent to a group home after her mother flips out in a store. Cal along with four hurt, troubled girls live in the "Pumpkin house" along with the eccentric old women know as the "knitting lady." ( )
  cpotter | Apr 4, 2009 |
Book talk:
My name is Cal Lavender. I'm living in a pumpkin house with four other girls and the knitting lady, but this is NOT my life. My real life is with my mom when she isn't having an episode, like the latest one she had in the library. I was taken by a policeman to this orange house, but I WON'T be staying because like I said, this is not my life. Living in the pumpkin house with me is Whitney, who has been in many other foster homes. Whitney says whatever is on her mind, and it usually starts with the phrase, 'Man-oh-man!' I am TEMPORARILY in a room with Whitney and another girl, named Amber. Amber never speaks, but what she does do (Though I have not personally seeh her do this) is pull out all her hair. That's right; she's bald. She and Whitney obviously have problems way bigger than mine. All I need is for my mom to prove that she can take care of me and I will be leaving the pumpkin house. Until then, the knitting lady is teaching me how to knit. She says you can tell a lot about a person from their knitting. Do you think she can tell that I have been taking care of my mother instead of the other way around? Do you think she can tell that Cal Lavender does everything right, the way she is supposed to? Can she tell this ISN'T my life? I'll tell you one thing she can tell, she tells a really good story. ( )
  lnommay | Dec 28, 2008 |
Placed in a group foster home, eleven-year-old Cal Lavender learns how to cope with life from the four other girls who live there and from their storytelling guardian, the Knitting Lady.
  prkcs | Sep 24, 2007 |
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My name is Cal Lavender. I'm living in a pumpkin house with four other girls and the knitting lady, but this is NOT my life. My real life is with my mom when she isn't having an episode, like the latest one she had in the library. I was taken by a policeman to this orange house, but I WON'T be staying because like I said, this is not my life. Living in the pumpkin house with me is Whitney, who has been in many other foster homes. Whitney says whatever is on her mind, and it usually starts with the phrase, "Man-oh-man!" I am TEMPORARILY in a room with Whitney and another girl, named Amber. Amber never speaks, but what she does do (Though I have not personally seeh her do this) is pull out all her hair. That's right; she's bald. She and Whitney obviously have problems way bigger than mine. All I need is for my mom to prove that she can take care of me and I will be leaving the pumpkin house. Until then, the knitting lady is teaching me how to knit. She says you can tell a lot about a person from their knitting. Do you think she can tell that I have been taking care of my mother instead of the other way around? Do you think she can tell that Cal Lavender does everything right, the way she is supposed to? Can she tell this ISN'T my life? I'll tell you one thing she can tell, she tells a really good story.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805076697, Hardcover)

I haven’t even explained yet about the Knitting Lady. Who is she? How did I wind up on her doorstep? How did I meet the other girls who became my friends—no, they became more than friends—despite the fact that they drove me absolutely crazy.

I need to take a giant step back, return myself to the police car and explain how I, Cal Lavender, came to be living a life that wasn’t my own.

A witty and moving first novel that uncovers another side of the foster-care system

Cal Lavender is perfectly happy living her anonymous life, even if she does have to play mother to her own mother a whole lot more than an eleven-year-old should. But when Cal’s mother has one of her “unfortunate episodes” in the middle of the public library, she is whisked off by the authorities and Cal is escorted to a seat in the back of a police car.

On “just a short, temporary detour from what I call life,” Cal finds herself in a group home with four other girls, watched over by a strange old woman everyone refers to as the Knitting Lady. At first Cal can think of nothing but how to get out of this nuthouse. She knows she doesn’t belong there. But it turns out that all the girls, and even the Knitting Lady, may have a lot more in common than they could have imagined.
A fresh new voice in middle-grade fiction—Jill Wolfson’s unforgettable characters will blunder their way into readers’ hearts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:46 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Placed in a group foster home, eleven-year-old Cal Lavender learns how to cope with life from the four other girls who live there and from their storytelling guardian, the Knitting Lady.

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