Picturing Alyssa

Picturing Alyssa

Alison Lohans

Cultural / Canada / Academic / School

Who is the girl staring out of the old photograph? Every time Alyssa Dixon looks at it, even by accident, she finds herself on an Iowa farm in 1931. The past is nothing like Alyssa's unhappy life -- her mother severely depressed after the stillbirth of Alyssa's baby sister; escalating bullying by Brooklynne, a popular girl; and a teacher who is unsympathetic toward Alyssa's family's pacifist beliefs.Why can't Alyssa live in the past with her new friend, Deborah? Yet Alyssa is always pulled back to the present, where things only get worse. Maybe the farm isn't so idyllic, though. Deborah's mother is ill with a difficult pregnancy, and there's so much work. A series of old family photos shows Alyssa unsettling things about Deborah's family -- things Deborah seems not to know. Can Alyssa help the baby be born safely, and at the same time work through the overwhelming problems at home?
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