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."
"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
"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