4 out of 4 stars
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Little Maggie, by Jack Oliveira, is a true-life story that follows the story of a little girl, Maggie, who grew up in affluence outside her home and had to return after a while. The story starts off with Maggie being born to Josito and Marlies of the Amero family as the fourth child after Leon, Hugo, and Gloria. The spacing between each childbirth being about one year. The Amero's are also expecting a fifth child just one year after Maggie's birth. Following the birth of the fifth child, the Amero's agree to Lucinda's suggestion. Lucinda is a bosom friend of Marlies. Her suggestion was that Maggie should be handed over to her to take care of until the other children had grown enough to take care of themselves.
One-year-old Maggie was taken by Lucinda and cared for. She was loved by all in Lucinda’s family and treated like a queen. Her birth parents lived in a poor homestead without sufficient money, but Maggie lived in affluence. Maggie has now turned seven, and Marlies wants her daughter to reunite with her family. How does Maggie react when she learns that Lucinda is not her biological mother? Does Maggie want to return to her real family? Is she going to cope in a poor home having tasted wealth?
An important feature I look forward to seeing when reading a book is the realism of the characters. I also try to see how these characters relate to the story. I think it is important for the author to tell stories using characters that the reader can relate with. In doing so, the author has to make sure that he/she develops each character effectively as well as integrate them into the story in such a way that the reader feels that they are relevant to the story. I was happy to see that this book did not disappoint in that regard. All the characters that were talked about were well developed. Their relevance in the story was not in question. This increased the credibility of the story. As a result, I had no doubt that it was a true-life story while I read.
I was happy to see the way the Amero children competed among themselves in everything they did, especially Leon and Hugo. This ignited my numerous fun childhood memories, as I also grew up in a large family. I was also pleased that I got to laugh while reading this book. Hugo was one character that provided a lot of humor to the story through his pranks. However, I was surprised to learn that Leon was allowed to smoke tobacco when he started working at the tender age of ten. I find it difficult to believe that children were allowed to smoke in Portugal in the 1960s.
There was really nothing to dislike about this book. The author used clear and coherent English to tell the story. I found only three minor grammatical errors, not enough to impede my reading flow. There was no profane language used throughout the pages. I rate Little Maggie 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to people who are interested in true-life stories.
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