About the Book
Set in 1960s and present-day Winnipeg, this poignant coming-of-age story follows a decade in the life of a young girl growing up in a close-knit family in a time of sweeping social change.
The 1960s was a decade of major world events, exciting changes, and unforgettable fashion and music. But for Laura, navigating the cliques at school, avoiding corporal punishment doled out by the nuns, and dealing with her mother’s illness feel more real than the news stories of political assassinations, royal visits, the legalization of birth control, and the threat of nuclear war that dominate the headlines of the day. Sixties Girl is a decade in the life of an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to Expo 67, from Beatlemania to miniskirts.
Told in alternating timelines—with an adult Laura recalling her childhood experiences to her grandson Will—this vivid portrait of a Canadian childhood and adolescence is a deeply personal, heartfelt reflection on family and self-discovery, as well as an insightful commentary on an era that changed society forever.
“Stories from the Swinging Sixties help friends overcome their divisions and a family bridge the generation gap in this uplifting contemporary tale. Young readers will identify with Will’s insecurities, and cheer when he realizes goodness surrounds him. When in doubt, Grandma’s story box has the answer.”
—Harriet Zaidman, author of Second Chances, winner of the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
“MaryLou Driedger has deftly woven together a historical fiction story of a girl growing up in the fast-changing 1960s and a contemporary story of a boy dealing with bullying, making new friends, and learning how to trust. Both storylines are compelling in their own right, and together they form this beautifully written novel that lets us sink into each character’s coming-of-age journey. Sixties Girl is a captivating page turner that I did not want to end! Fans of Driedger’s first book, Lost on the Prairie, will not be disappointed!”
—Jodi Carmichael, award-winning author of The U-nique Lou Fox
“In this thoughtful middle-grade novel, the past deftly intersects with the present. His grandmother’s old suitcase, stuffed with random objects, becomes eleven-year-old Will’s portal to both family and world history, and to a better understanding of himself. An empowering book about sharing stories, Sixties Girl is sure to stimulate conversation between generations.”
—Gabriele Goldstone, award-winning author of family-inspired novels Crow Stone and Tainted Amber
“Listening to stories told by his grandmother about growing up in the 1960s compels young Will to ask hard questions about his own relationships with friends and family. Heartfelt, warm, rich in details, meticulously researched, and complete with intriguing historical notes, MaryLou Driedger’s Sixties Girl adeptly brings the era to life.”
—Larry Verstraete, author of Coop the Great