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Returnable Girl

Reviews for Returnable Girl

School Library Journal, October, 2006
"By creating a truly believable teenage narrative voice and a fully realized cast of characters, Lowell offers an engrossing, well-plotted, and impressive read. Each character, from Ronnie’s depressed and self-destructive neighbor to the motorcycle-riding youth minister, struggles with very human challenges and plays a meaningful role in the girl’s growth. Difficult issues–betrayal, depression, emotional abuse–are handled without melodrama or sensationalism. Ultimately, the novel celebrates the resilience of both teens and adults, the bonds formed in healing, and the journeys taken in finding and following one’s heart. Readers will feel they have traveled the physical and emotional distance with Ronnie, and will find comfort and hope in the story’s resolution.–Riva Pollard, The Winsor School Library, Boston

Children's Literature, October 2006
"Ronnie's character is so real that readers will root for her and hope that she makes the right choices. Her circumstances may have been beyond her control, but she learns that faith in humanity can have a positive influence on the future. This book deals with a variety of sensitive issues that many teenage readers will identify with. It is engaging, upsetting, and uplifting, all at the same time."

BookList 2006
"Readers will be moved by the story of anger and distrust in a harsh world, and the temptation to give up the best in yourself to fit in." ––Hazel Rochman

VOYA 2007
"Lowell, a clinical social worker specializing in work with teenage girls, offers a debut novel that rings true. Anger, grief, confusion, rebellion, and finally resolution, acceptance, and love are clearly portrayed in the character of Ronnie as she matures. With its clear, direct language and an appealing heroine, the book is likely to draw a wide range of teen readers, especially girls."

"What a great book. I am so thrilled you sent it to me to read. I think it was very well done. As an adoptee and doing the work that I do with the young people in foster care there were many moments that I could relate to. What a tender and real approach to this very delicate subject matter. I think this a wonderful book for any young teen but certainly for young ladies in foster care. I think for young people who are not is foster care this is a very important book as well. Anything to help others understand what foster care is all about is a blessing. Kudos for a great and important book! It was an honor to read it."--April Dinwoodie ADOPTMENT (mentoring program for foster and adopted teens)


"The magic of this story however, is how human Ms. Lowell has made Ronnie. She really brings this child to life! I believe this is an excellent book to remind all of us; child care workers, counselors, judges, and everyone connected with the foster care system that we do not deal with a case file. People concerned with child welfare can easily become overcome by the volume of children that need help, and despite their best intentions, start to treat the subjects of the system as statistics. Ms. Lowell’s compelling presentation of Ronnie is a powerful reminder that each child is a unique individual who needs to be treated with dignity, respect, and love."--Honorable Stephen B. Lieberman
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Berks County, Pennsylvania
"My hope is that the story will get into the hands of all teens experiencing foster care."

--Karen Jorgenson
Executive Director
National Foster Parent Association


"Returnable Girl is a story about hope, struggle, courage, loss, resilience, old patterns and new beginnings. Pamela Lowell’s book captured the essence of how challenging it can be to grow up in state
care. Her story also showed the importance of family and how one adult can make a lifetime of difference in a child’s life.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and am excited to share it with youth in care as well as families considering foster care and adoption."
--Darlene Allen
Executive Director
Adoption Rhode Island

Kirkus Reviews
"A convincing portrait of a troubled 13-year-old girl lifts this above the level of mere entertainment. As a family therapist, Lowell knows something about unhappy adolescents. Her expertise allows her to depict not only Ronnie's growing understanding of her situation and those of her friends, but also the reality of her life, all through Ronnie's eyes. Readable and enlightening for girls and their parents."

"Returnable Girl captures painfully and beautifully the trauma of being a foster child. Lowell's ability to articulate Ronnie's internal struggles and heartache as she confronts the challenge of finding a home somewhere on the planet is remarkable. Ronnie truly comes to life on these pages. Lowell has created a thirteen year old girl filled with grit, spit, and grace whose story will be indelibly etched on your memory.
For young readers regardless of their background, this book will be both engaging and ring true. And for anyone who works with children and/​or is a parent of a teenager, Returnable Girl will be illuminating."
--Dr. David Treadway
Intimacy Change and Other Therapeutic Mysteries.