Book Review-Rabbit Ears
Written By: Maggie DeVries
Reviewed By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)
Rabbit Ears is a young adult novel inspired by the true story of one of Vancouver’s Missing women. It is told through the eyes of two young girls who are not only struggling to come into their own after losing their father but are also learning to deal with the loss, grief and change that comes with living in a one parent home.
Kaya, a 13-year-old girl carries a painful secret, a secret her older sister Beth believes involves a mysterious neighbourhood older man Mr. Grimbsy, who later kills himself. The secret Kaya holds inside is never really told, but the reader is left guessing.
The story is narrated between the two sisters Beth and Kaya. You can’t help but feel empathy for these two girls as you follow their distinctively different paths in how they deal with the things that come their way. Beth goes back in time to when her grade four teacher taught her magic card tricks and tries to master the tricks he has taught her a few years later, and turns to food for comfort.
Thrust into more responsibility around the house, Beth has to deal with her younger sister’s constant running away, and how her mom deals with all of it. She is made to grow up faster than she has to because her younger sister who is fighting her own demons decides that running away is one of the answers to dealing with the pain she feels inside.
Typical of a thirteen-year-old girl, Kaya doesn’t understand the impact she is making on her family by the decisions she is making and the reader feels the pain of her decisions on the rest of her family.
Kaya also turns to shoplifting, gets sent to juvenile detention, and gets into drugs and prostitution. It is while spending time on the Downtown Eastside, she is made to witness things no thirteen year old girl should encounter-her best friend being injected with drugs, encounters with older men who don’t care how old you are as long as you make them some money, and a sex worker Sarah, addicted to heroin who tries to save Kaya from herself and keep her safe from a terrifying new threat to the women on the streets. In the end, Sarah, goes missing herself.
Rabbit Ears is published by Harper Trophy Canada and is 222 pages. ISBN: 978-1-44341-662-7 and retails for $14.99.