Jerry Spinelli pulls readers into an interesting time and topic his historical fiction novel The Warden's Daughter (Lexile: 550; Interest Level: Grades 4-7). Cammie O'Reilly lives a rather unusual life, the least of which is because she lives at the town prison. Her father is the Warden, or the chief jailer. That isn't the only thing that makes Cammie unique, though. Her mother died when she was a baby--died while saving her life!
Both of these events make Cammie an oddity in her town, and she grows up with an interesting take on the world. One of the ladies who is an inmate at the prison is appointed to work in her apartment as a caretaker--of both the apartment and Cammie, who begins to see her as a surrogate mother.
The story takes place during the summer months, right before she turns 13, and Cammie has more freedom that is probably good for her, and she starts acting out in various ways to get the attention of her Trustee caretaker.
Readers will discover an interesting look into the prisons and life in the late 1950s and the growing up of a young girl within the pages of this novel. (352 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.