Review Highlights

REVIEWS FROM A FEW READERS:

...Typical comments [from my students] were, "This is my favorite book ever." "I LOVE this book!"...

Libby -- 4th Grade Teacher -- Florida
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

...I liked all of the crazy characters...But my favorite character of all was Evangeline. The emotions that she feels in the book make her seem real and come to life.

Jordan -- Lake Mary, Florida
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

The story supplies an inspiring message of facing life's problems and not running away from them, regardless of the situation.

Angel, Media Specialist, Liberty Township, OH
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

...it reminded me of a cross between Because of Winn Dixie and Kingsolver's The Bean Trees. I will be recommending it to my students...

Sherrie, Intermediate School Media Specialist -- Florida
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I would recommend this for most middle school and public libraries.

Barb, Middle School Librarian, Cincinnati, OH
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

...a lovely piece of YA (Young Adult) reading...

Adrienne – Tampa, Florida
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

This is a wonderful story that made me laugh and cry... A great book to curl up with!

Linda – Tilton, New Hampshire
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

What a delightful book! ... I truly do believe that this book shouldn't be limited to kids.

Kathe - Grayson, Georgia
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I just absolutely loved it!! It was very touching...

Cheyenn – Garden City, Kansas
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

... A good lesson on responsibility and not giving up...

Joel -- West Palm Beach, Florida
Click here to see the complete review.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

... Evangeline Brown...will break your heart and make you grin ear to ear.

Darren -- San Diego, California
Click here to see the complete review.

FROM THE BOOK'S DUST JACKET:

... a poignant story that both touched my heart and tickled my funny bone ---an honest tale that speaks to the longing for love and attention in us all.

Han Nolan
Author of
Dancing on the Edge
Click here to see the complete review.

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

...Davis's skillful assembly of well-defined characters and her precise, concisely wrought descriptions add color to Eddie's bleak surroundings and demonstrate that love, beauty and compassion can flourish in the most unlikely places....

Click here to see the complete review.

ABA BOOK SENSE CHILDREN'S PICKS

...Warm, funny, and thoughtful -- this book has it all!

Click here to see the complete review.

BOOKPAGE

...a dead-on understanding of what it's like on the other side of the tracks... accurately captures the mixture of resentment and shame that many poor children feel, but also delivers plenty of the thing they need most: hope...

Click here to see the complete review.

STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE

The theme of this award-winning book is how children who live with alcoholic, dysfunctional parents in poverty have many challenges to face but can also be resilient when necessary.  Both the characters and the plot are well developed, and the narration flows smoothly for easy reading.

Click here to see the complete review.

MIAMI HERALD

...a great character, a near-sighted tuffy with skinned knees and a gruff exterior masking her very frightened soul. What she's afraid of ... is that no one loves her. She's wrong. I do, for one.

Click here to see the complete review.

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

... Likable characters are developed in a satisfying, linear plot that explores the challenges of living with dysfunctional adults...

Click here to see the complete review.

YA BOOKS CENTRAL

...brought me back to when I was young and we had just moved to Florida... a nicely written story about the importance of friendship, family, and being true to yourself.

Click here to see the complete review.

KIDSREADS

...a poignant book with fresh, surprising characters (I love Eddie's attitude!) and a lively but thoughtful plot...

Click here to see the complete review.

HORN BOOK GUIDE

...Her [Evangeline's] gradual acceptance of friendship and growing trust of adults is believable. Setting and characterizations are also well drawn in this poignant story.

Click here to see the complete review.

FALL BOOK REVIEW

... The story is heart-wrenching because it is the story of many children... I plan to offer this book to students who live in similar situations...

Click here to see the complete review.

ROUND ROCK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

... Students will enjoy this story of a strong sixth grader working through difficulties and coming out a winner.

Click here to see the complete review.

NEW BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

...This story illustrates some effective problem solving, and teaches the reader to appreciate life a little more.

Click here to see the complete review.

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

....Davis's story is well written, evoking both laughter and tears. Children and adults alike will enjoy this story of Eddie's growth and maturation.

Click here to see the complete review.

 Complete Reviews

REVIEWS FROM READERS

... I started reading your book to my homeroom last week---the 1st wk of school. Today we invited my team teacher's 25 kids in to share with us. My kids very excitedly told the others about the book and tried to get them up to speed. When it was time for lunch, no one wanted to leave!!!! Typical comments were, "This is my favorite book ever." "I LOVE this book!" On and on. I was supposed to give them your website as many wanted to get in touch with you but the day got away from me. Tomorrow! ...they're just mesmerized by everything and can't wait to meet you...

From an email - Libby -- 4th Grade Teacher -- Florida

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Crazy Characters at the Cadillac Motel
Have you ever run away from home? That is just what happens in Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel by Michele Ivy Davis. This is a story of true friendship and the hard life that the two kids, Evangeline and Farrell, have. This story is about their adventures.

Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel is about eleven year old Evangeline whose Pa is an alcoholic. So is her pa’s best friend Jesse. Evangeline’s best friend is Farrell, which is Jesse’s son. Evangeline’s ma died when she was very young. Farrell and Eddie (that is Evangeline’s nickname) have trouble with their Pas’ when their teacher, Miss Rose, visits their houses. One day they hear Miss Rose talking to the principal that she is going to call social services about their problems at home. Farrell has had social services called before, and he tells Eddie that they will never get him again...NEVER!

I can’t tell you how the story ends, but I can tell you what I enjoyed most. I liked all of the crazy characters. One of my favorites was Angelique Starr; that is her stage name. Angelique always puts on makeup like a clown as described by Eddie.

Another interesting person was a man who escaped from jail. Eddie gives details about his eyes, which made me feel that his eyes told lies. But my favorite character of all was Evangeline. The emotions that she feels in the book make her seem real and come to life.

Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel was the winner of the Ann Durell Fiction Contest with Dutton Children’s Books. It has also been nominated as a future Sunshine State book. I was able to do an interview with Ms. Davis and asked her what her favorite part of the book was. It was at the end, so you’ll have to read this exciting book to find out!

From a book review by Jordan -- student -- Lake Mary, Florida
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Summary:
Evangeline Brown is a six-grader who lives with her alcoholic father in a run-down motel, The Cadillac Motel, in Paradise, Florida. Evangeline is embarrassed by the motel, which features a pink Cadillac butt protruding from the front, and equally embarrassed by her father, who stays drunk most of the time. Life is rather bleak for Evangeline, until a new friend, Farrell, moves into the neighborhood. Evangeline and Farrell share many similarities; both of their mother's are deceased and their fathers are drinking buddies. When a new teacher arrives and decides to make a home visit to all the parents, Evangeline and Farrell fear Social Services may intervene when they see their home lives. Both kids decide to run away before they're taken away.

Evaluation:
Life in Paradise, Florida is anything but paradise for Evangeline Brown. Her mother is dead, her father is a drunk, and she lives in a run-down motel that has the butt end of a pink Cadillac protruding from the front. Life becomes a little brighter when a new friend moves to the neighborhood, Farrell. Farrell's father is a drinking buddy of Evangeline's Pa. Farrell and Evangeline share a love of basketball and similar lives. Evangeline is a smart, mature character that the reader will sympathize with and root for. Although Evangeline's life appears bleak and hopeless, the book provides a hopeful, encouraging end. The story supplies an inspiring message of facing life's problems and not running away from them, regardless of the situation.

Angel Chaffin
Liberty Junior School, Liberty Township, OH
swonlibraries.org

Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I am a school librarian ... and I just received your book yesterday from the library media/technology office at the school board.  Something about it really caught my eye, so I started reading it yesterday afternoon and finished it today on my lunch break.  I enjoyed it very much; it reminded me of a cross between Because of Winn Dixie and Kingsolver's The Bean Trees.  I will be recommending it to my students, and just wanted to drop you an email to say that I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for allowing me to spend a little time in Evangeline's world.

Sherrie, Intermediate School Media Specialist -- Florida
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Summary:
Evangeline, better known as "Eddie." lives with her alcoholic father in a motel in Florida. The motel is hard to miss since it has the back end of a pink Cadillac sticking out of the office wall. Although Eddie likes to read, she has simply tolerated school in the past and is not looking forward to sixth grade. But a new boy moves in next door, a new teacher takes the place of old Mrs. Thornton and Eddie gets glasses. These changes are just the beginning and the start of a new, better life for Eddie.

Evaluation:
Eddie is a very likeable, realistic character that most middle school girls, and maybe some boys, will like. She is strong because she has to be, but also knows her limits. I would recommend this for most middle school and public libraries.

Reviewed by Barb Degenhardt
Mt. Healthy North Middle School, Cincinnati, OH
swonlibraries.org
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

...I just finished reading your book. I think it is a lovely piece of YA reading and I related to Eddie on so many levels -- with the exception of the pink butt of that Cadillac! (Smile.) I look forward to reading more of your pieces...

From an email -- Adrienne – Tampa, Florida
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

This is a wonderful story that made me laugh and cry. I really loved the main character. The author does such a wonderful job that you really feel part of the story. I am an adult and I plan on sharing this one with both my 8 year old and 11 year old. A great book to curl up with!

Linda – Tilton, New Hampshire
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

What a delightful book! I enjoyed the engaging story and the spunk of the main character. Eddie is a no nonsense tomboy on the outside and a vulnerable young girl within. The author lends a remarkable insight into the life of a young girl of difficult circumstances. I recommend this book to anyone who would like to enjoy its simple lessons. I truly do believe that this book shouldn't be limited to kids!

Kathe -- Grayson, Georgia
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I read your book, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel, and I just absolutely loved it!! It was very touching. It ended up making me cry, but they were mostly happy tears, a couple sad.

A lot of people say they have to connect with the character to like the story. Well, I didn’t have a lot in common but we did have some, and I did connect with Evangeline. … I just wanted to tell you I loved your book …and I can’t wait until I read your next book!!!

Cheyenn – Garden City, Kansas
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

I was reading it a couple of chapters at a time until I got to the part about planning to run away...  Couldn't sleep last night so I got up and finished the book about 3:30 this morning. What an appropriate "lesson" because I don't reckon there have been many of us that haven't felt like running away at some time or another... A good lesson on responsibility and not giving up...I really liked it...

Joel -- West Palm Beach, Florida
Go back to Review Highlights

ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Davis does a great job of capturing not only the voices of young kids (and some pretty interesting adults, for that matter), but also the wide emotional swings -- one minute you resent the new kid on the block, the next you're best friends, and back again. Evangeline Brown -- oops, "Eddie" -- will break your heart and make you grin ear to ear. The story is refreshing in its ability to find hope despite hardship, without descending into sappiness. As Eddie says, that perfect place somewhere over the rainbow may not really exist, but sometimes you just have to make your own rainbows.

Darren -- San Diego, California
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: (From the book dust jacket)

With its wonderfully willful heroine, reminiscent of Scout in To Kill a Mocking Bird, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel is a poignant story that both touched my heart and tickled my funny bone ---an honest tale that speaks to the longing for love and attention in us all.

Han Nolan
Author of
Dancing on the Edge
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

Sixth-grader Eddie (short for Evangeline Dawn) Brown, narrator of this impressive first novel, lives in Paradise, Fla., a town "full of dust and dirt and rotting buildings," and her history is just as grim as the setting. Her mother is dead, her pa is alcoholic, and Eddie hates living in a run-down motel, which features "the big butt end of [a] pink Cadillac [that] looks like it's crashed partway through the cinder-block wall of the motel office." Eddie's prospects for the future begin to brighten, however, after she meets three newcomers to Paradise: Miss Rose, a teacher who recognizes Eddie's intelligence and singing talent; Angelique Starr, an exotic-looking guest at the motel; and, most importantly, Farrell Garrett, a boy who has suffered even more than Eddie. When Eddie and Farrell overhear Miss Rose planning to call Social Services about the poor living conditions of some of her students, the two decide to run away. Davis's skillful assembly of well-defined characters and her precise, concisely wrought descriptions add color to Eddie's bleak surroundings and demonstrate that love, beauty and compassion can flourish in the most unlikely places. Ages 8-up.

Copyright Reed Business Information
from the June 28, 2004 issue
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: ABA AUTUMN 2004 BOOK SENSE CHILDREN'S PICKS
(American Booksellers Association)

Eddie (Evangeline Dawn) and Farrell find friendship in the unlikely town of Paradise. Both have drunks for fathers, tough skins from being bullied, and bright, but undiscovered, minds. Warm, funny, and thoughtful -- this book has it all!

Reviewed by Jane Morck,
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: BOOKPAGE --

Life on the wrong side of the tracks

Almost 17 percent of American children live in poverty, a startling statistic. Michele Ivy Davis gives readers a touching and realistic glimpse into the life of one of these children in her new novel Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel. Davis must have grown up poor, or had close friends who did, because she shows a dead-on understanding of what it's like on the other side of the tracks.

Evangeline (Eddie, to her friends) Brown lives in a sleepy little Florida town called Paradise, and she doesn't like her home life very much. There's a lot not to like. For starters, her mother died when she was small, and she lives at her father's business, a run-down motel with the tail end of a pink Cadillac mounted on one wall. If that weren't embarrassing enough, she sports a wardrobe of second-hand clothes, and most of the time when she gets home from school, her father is passed out, drunk. She shuns, and is shunned by, the other kids at school, and with sixth grade starting up, she's dreading the wizened old teacher she's sure to get.

Imagine Eddie's surprise when young Miss Rose strolls in the door! Her happiness quickly turns to consternation when her new teacher puts her in the front of the class, and after sizing up a few test scores, begins to call on her more than she'd like. She reluctantly tries out for the choir at Miss Rose's behest, but the last straw comes when she finds out that the teacher is planning on visiting her at home! With the help of her new friend Farrell, the son of her dad's drinking buddy, Eddie decides on a drastic plan of action—she's going to run away.

Davis accurately captures the mixture of resentment and shame that many poor children feel, but also delivers plenty of the thing they need most: hope. The winner of the Dutton Children's Books Ann Durell Fiction Contest, Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel is a winning first novel that young readers will learn from and enjoy.

Review by James Neal Webb
from the July, 2004 issue
Go back to Review Highlights

 Review: STORIES FOR CHILDREN MAGAZINE    

Evangeline Dawn Brown, who used her first two initials to come up with the nickname Eddie, lives with her widowed father in an apartment of the gaudy Cadillac Motel (it actually has the end of an old pink Cadillac automobile sticking out the front) which he owns and operates on Celestial Ave. in Paradise, FL.  Unfortunately, her father spends most of his time drinking beer and whisky with his old friend Jesse, who had recently moved to town and works on cars at a nearby garage, and has more often than not been in an alcoholic stupor since Eddie's mother died.   It seems as if the only people who care anything about her are Ruby, the motel's housekeeper, and Angelique, a new resident at the motel who begins working some at the front desk.  Because it is on the "wrong side" of town, Eddie has few friends at school. 

However, the summer before Eddie goes into sixth grade, she and Jesse's son Farrell become good friends, partially because they have several things in common--grieving over dead mothers, having alcoholic fathers, and playing basketball.  Things seem to be going a little better until the new school teacher that fall, Miss Rose, starts visiting the homes of her students.  Eddie is almost ashamed for her to visit the Cadillac Motel.  After Miss Rose had visited both Farrell's and Eddie's homes, the two youngsters overhear her telling the principal that she was going to call social services to get help for some of the families.  Farrell had been involved with social services following his mother's death, was in several foster homes before coming to Paradise, and did not want to go back to that.  So he and Eddie hatch a plan to run away to Atlanta, GA, and live with Farrell's grandmother.  Will they make it, or will something happen to keep them from carrying out their scheme?

The theme of this award-winning book is how children who live with alcoholic, dysfunctional parents in poverty have many challenges to face but can also be resilient when necessary.  Both the characters and the plot are well developed, and the narration flows smoothly for easy reading.  Parents, especially of children on the younger end of the reading level, should know that there are some cursing and taking the Lord's name in vain, though Eddie does wince whenever she says a bad word because her dad had taught her not to "cuss."  There is a definite sadness that runs throughout the book, but in the end there is a positive note of hope.  One may not always approve of the choices that Eddie makes, but they are understandable given the circumstances, and there are important lessons to be learned from the fact that Eddie is able to find the help that she needs.

Review by Wayne S. Wallker
Go back to Review Highlights

 Review: MIAMI HERALD

Somebody to Love

Over in Tampa, another first-time novelist, Michele Ivy Davis, entered her novel in a national contest and won the grand prize -- a publishing contract. Evangeline Brown and The Cadillac Motel (Dutton, $16.99, ages 8 to 12) debuts next month, the bittersweet tale of a motherless child who makes her first true friend and rescues her father from his alcohol-soaked grief. Eddie -- the nickname Evangeline gives herself -- is a great character, a near-sighted tuffy with skinned knees and a gruff exterior masking her very frightened soul. What she's afraid of -- get out your hankies -- is that no one loves her. She's wrong. I do, for one.

Review by Sue Corbett
Children's Book Reviewer
Miami Herald/Knight Ridder - Tribune News Service
April 24, 2004 issue
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Sixth-grader Evangeline Dawn Brown is embarrassed about the "butt end" of an old pink Cadillac that protrudes from a wall of her father's run-down motel as a gimmick to attract customers in Paradise, FL. Even more embarrassing is the fact that since her mother died, her father has become an alcoholic. Fortunately, a new friend, Farrell, likes basketball as much as she does, lives nearby, and shares many of her feelings since his mother is dead, too, and his father drinks with Eddie's father. The protagonist is a good student who is happy with her new teacher until the woman announces that she will visit each child's home. Eddie does her best to make a good impression during the visit, but her father is obviously drunk. Both youngsters fear intervention by social workers who might send them to foster homes, and they plan to run away together. Likable characters are developed in a satisfying, linear plot that explores the challenges of living with dysfunctional adults. Though this novel is not as multilayered as Patricia Reilly Giff's Pictures of Hollis Woods (Random, 2002), readers will find parallel relationships and action.

Review by Jean Gaffney
Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library
Miamisburg, OH
Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: YA BOOKS CENTRAL

Everyone, sometimes secretly and sometimes not, likes to read about familiar places and familiar things. Reading Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel brought me back to when I was young and we had just moved to Florida. We lived for the summer in a motel much like Evangeline's while we searched for a house. Backwoods Florida has hundreds of these little places: small, dusty, paint peeling off the walls, the smell of mildew assaulting you whenever you open the door. But they still have charm for all of that.

Evangeline is having a hard time seeing the charm since her mother died. Her dad doesn't keep the place up like he could (in fact, he spends more time drinking with his buddy than anything else). She doesn't have any friends at school until Farrell comes to live next door with her Pa's drinking buddy. It's an uneasy friendship at first, since neither of them seems to know exactly how to behave.

A new teacher at school is a pleasant surprise for Evangeline. Instead of the dreaded Mrs. Thornton, she has the young and pretty Miss Rose. But Miss Rose is planning on scheduling home visits and that scares both Evangeline and Farrell. They know that their home life isn't all it's cracked up to be and Evangeline in particular is both embarrassed and ashamed.

Things come to a head when Evangeline and Farrell both fear that Social Services are coming to take them away. (There are quite a few other things going on in this story, but I don't want to give away every detail) In the end, they both discover that family is what you make of it.

This is a nicely written story about the importance of friendship, family, and being true to yourself. I recommend this book for readers aged 10 and up.

Review by Kimberly Pauley
YABooksCentral.com
Copyright 2005-YABooksCentral.com
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: KIDSREADS.COM

In this novel, which won the coveted Ann Durrell Fiction Contest (Dutton Children's Books' contest for new writers of middle-grade fiction), Evangeline "Eddie" Brown lives in poverty with her beer-sodden father. Their home is the rarely frequented Cadillac Motel, decorated with the butt-end of a pink Cadillac. Eddie has lived in Paradise since she was born. The motel is in sad shape and so is Eddie's Pa, who has never recovered from her mother's death when Eddie was five. Ruby, the motel maid, functions somewhat as a mom substitute. Eddie is friendless and teased unmercifully at school.

Eddie meets Farrell, the son of one of Pa's drinking buddies. The two connect through their mutual love of basketball. Eddie is troubled by Farrell's secrets. Why is he afraid of enclosed spaces? Where is the place he lived when his mother died? When school starts, they strike a deal: Eddie will help Farrell with his schoolwork in exchange for fighting lessons. Farrell and Eddie combine their talents to solve problems. Their solutions sometimes result in triumph but also lead them into danger.

Along with her new friend, Eddie also has a new teacher. Instead of cranky old Mrs. Thornton, the class has pretty, sweet Miss Rose. Her new teacher drops a bombshell: she plans to visit each student's home. Eddie is awash in shame and fear at the thought of her lovely teacher in the trashed-out motel meeting her drunken father. She is desperate to prevent that scenario.

This is a poignant book with fresh, surprising characters (I love Eddie's attitude!) and a lively but thoughtful plot. It's both heartbreaking and heartwarming but never slips into sentimentality. Although I thought that perhaps the situation with Eddie's father was resolved just a bit too easily, this is a minor quibble with such a wonderful novel. Indeed, I simply cannot wait to read many more books by talented newcomer Michele Ivy Davis.

   Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
KidsReads.com
Copyright 1998-2004, Kidsreads.com

Go back to Review Highlights

Review: HORN BOOK GUIDE

Eleven-year-old Evangeline has built a protective shell around herself in order to survive life with an alcoholic father in their increasingly decrepit Florida motel. Her gradual acceptance of friendship and growing trust of adults is believable. Setting and characterizations are also well drawn in this poignant story.

MVK. 181pg. The Horn Book, Copyright 2004
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: FALL BOOK REVIEW

Summary
This is a story of Eddie (Evangeline) and how she manages to survive in a single parent family with an alcoholic father and various characters. She lives in a poor side of town and stays by herself in order to survive the criticism of her classmates. She prides herself on being "the odd bird" as a matter of coping. She befriends a boy with a similar life situation and, as they bond and share experiences, they find themselves in a situation that forces their fathers to face the reality of alcoholism on their children.

Evaluation
The book was slow reading in the beginning, but it was worth hanging in there. The story is heart-wrenching because it is the story of many children. The ending is happy in that the father of Eddie and Farrell both come to their senses with the help of a very wise teacher. I plan to offer this book to students who live in similar situations. It helps to understand the coping strategies that are developed as a matter of survival – and which are keepers.

Reviewed by Deborah Peters, 8th grade Language Arts teacher,
Northwestern Lehigh Middle School
Published in "Fall Book Review" sponsored by
the Department of Library Science and Instructional Technology
Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA. 2005
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: ROUND ROCK INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

Evangeline, who would rather be called "Eddie," lives with her father in the rundown Cadillac Motel in the poorer area of the town of Paradise on Celestial Avenue. Since her mother has died, her alcoholic father takes little interest in Eddie or the upkeep of the motel. Her best friend (actually her only friend) is Farrell whose father is her dad's drinking buddy. After their new teacher makes home visits, they overhear her discussing calling the social services concerning the home conditions of some students. They know that they are the ones she is discussing. Farrell convinces Eddie that the best thing for them to do is to run away to stay with his grandmother in Atlanta. Students will enjoy this story of a strong sixth grader working through difficulties and coming out a winner. (Rating: Outstanding/Superior)

Karen Hodges, Librarian
Library Services
Round Rock Independent School District
Round Rock, TX
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: NEW BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Evangeline, or Eddie, appears to have a simple life, living in the town of Paradise. Her and her Pa dwell in a tacky worn-out 50’s motel, with a big “Cadillac butt” sticking out of the storefront. Pa thinks the idea will appeal to customers, but Eddie detests it. With the new school year starting soon and a teacher she does not like, Eddie encounters some new faces that may change her life. When she realizes that her family life is in jeopardy, she wants to do something about it, and fast. Running away seems to be the thing to do. In Evangeline Brown and the Cadillac Motel, Michele Ivy Davis successfully engages the reader in the many events of Eddie’s life. This story illustrates some effective problem solving, and teaches the reader to appreciate life a little more.

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education and Human Development
University of Minnesota
2006 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
Go back to Review Highlights

Review: CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

Evangeline, otherwise known as Eddie, is a ten-year-old girl who lives an isolated life in Paradise, a small town in Florida. Her family is poor, and her distant, lazy, alcoholic father runs a broken-down motor lodge called the Cadillac Motel. Her mother died when she was young; unfortunately her father won't even talk to her about it. To make matters worse, the kids at school pick on her. Things pick up, though, when she befriends Farrell, a ten-year-old boy who lives nearby. Farrell has had a difficult life too, for he has only an alcoholic father as well, and he is the only one who truly understands Eddie. The two become close over the course of the school year, and they forge a strong friendship. As their respective situations worsen at home, the two decide they must do something to change their lives. They decide to run away to Atlanta, but after a frightening encounter at the bus station and a night out in the woods, Eddie gains a truer understanding of her father and decides to return home. Farrell, unable to part with Eddie, also returns. The whole experience brings the two closer together and improves their respective relationships with their fathers. Davis's story is well written, evoking both laughter and tears. Children and adults alike will enjoy this story of Eddie's growth and maturation. 2004, Dutton's Children's Books, Ages 12 up.

Jennings Graves - Children's Literature
Barnes and Noble Booksellers web site