The Girl Who Knew Tomorrow by Zoa Sherburne

The Girl Who Knew Tomorrow by Zoa SherburneThe Girl Who Knew Tomorrow by Zoa Sherburne
Published: Scholastic (1970), Paperback, 174pg
Source: Bought
Genres: Fiction, Sci-fi

Angie Scofield has never been normal. She’s always been able to just know things, things that other can’t or don’t know. Then she gets invited on a talk show to demonstrate her talent, and Angie is no longer just Angie: she’s the “girl who knows tomorrow.” But all Angie really wants is to live that normal life she’s always dreamed of, to do normal teenage things. To do that, she must find the courage inside herself to get out of the spotlight, breaking her mother’s heart and disappointing her friends in the process. Does she have such courage?

This is a short book, but I’ve never had much tolerance for kids with psychic abilities (adults are another thing altogether) and so I found that a good thing. However, for what it was, The Girl Who Knew Tomorrow was a nice quick read with some strong characters and an unfortunately cliched plot.

I’m not really concerned with the plot. It’s not got anything new or different in it, and the ending was expected. However, I was really more interested in the characters and the writing itself. Sherburne is not a bad writer; she reminds me most of an early Judy Blume, if Judy Blume wrote paranormal stories. It was delicate enough to not smother the story with the characters and plot but strong enough to carry them through it with minimal fuss. The mother, grandmother, and Jeff were done particularly well as representations of an adult world that a kid doesn’t necessarily understand. Angie herself was just right, both when she was younger and as her teenage self. The only character who didn’t really fit was Celia; I thought she was too easily explained away as just being jealous and selfish, especially considering how well fleshed-out the other characters were.

I actually felt kinda bad for Celia. I’m sure she can’t help what she is (as Angie herself says), but I don’t think her family was much help either by basically ignoring her, and for Angie getting all the attention (and fame and money). Sure, she’s selfish, but I think that might be a defense mechanism more than anything else.

Overall, I thought TGWKT was an interesting study of a family who happens to have a kid with psychic powers in it. But I’d be more interested if there was a sequel with Celia as the main character.

Recommended for: fans of Judy Blume, Children of the Corn, and 70’s YA/teen novels.

Read: November 2008

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