When JFK Was My Father
Have you ever wanted to just switch parents? Have you ever looked at someone elses parent and wished that they were yours? Thats how Georgia Hughes feels, too- but instead of just wishing, she actually adopts that parent in her mind.
Georgia Hughes lives in Brazil, where she meets her only friend, Tim. When her mother comes home to find her father with a young Brazilian woman, she brings Georgia to live in Washington, D.C. But Georgias mother, who she calls La, sends Georgia to the Beard Boarding School for Girls in Connecticut practically immediately after the move.
Because Georgias parents hardly communicate with her, she adopts a new father- the president. She hung a picture of JFK next to her bed and talked to him inside her head. JFK gives her advice on tricky situations she finds herself in, which tend to occur frequently. To help with the awful attitudes of Georgias classmates and teachers, JFK tells Georgia that Beard is actually a cover for a gunrunning operation in which several of the mean students parents and the worst teachers are working together to ship guns to Cuba. JFK gives Georgia hints to look out for, such as if a teacher is wearing the same tie for more than four days in a row.
The only people who are kind to Georgia at Beard are people who are younger than her, and Georgia feels abandoned and alone. She misses Brazil and her only friend there- Tim- and doesnt pay attention in class, except for English.When Georgia gets her first report card, she is miserable with her terrible grades, along with other things. She skips gym class and wanders into a shed near the school- and finds Tim, her only true friend. He had been going to the boys boarding school across the river. Tim hated it there, so he ran away. Georgia visits him again and whenever she has free time.
Suddenly, however, tragedy strikes. Word gets out that JFK was shot, and Georgias world is shattered. Georgia runs away to Tims shed, but they soon realize that it is too cold and too obvious. The retreat to the attic of the Beard school and hide out there. Tim continually tries to get Georgia to run farther away, out of Connecticut, out of the United States. As more and more people find out where Georgia is hiding, Georgia is forced to make an important decision- where does she belong?
I enjoyed this book because it was a touching story of a girl and her imaginary father, who she uses for consolation during hard times. I liked reading about the boarding school aspect, and a different point of view about JFKs death. My favorite part was watching Georgia change over time- learning to deal with her issues without JFK helping her in her head, and becoming able to make decisions on her own.