Blog Tour: The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli ~ Review

The Warden’s Daughter Blog Tour
January 3-19

January 5My Brain on Books
January 6Book Blather

January 9:  Bookhounds YA
January 10thReviews Coming at YA
January 11thProject Mayhem
January 13thReaders in Wonderland

January 16th: The Cover Contessa
January 17th: YA Books Central
January 18thReading Nook Reviews
January 19thXpresso Reads

The Warden's Daughter

Hardcover352 pages
Expected publication: January 3rd 2017 
by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Hardcover provided by the Publisher
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars


From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac MageeStargirl) comes the knockout story of a girl who must come to terms with her mother's death from inside the walls of a prison.

Cammie O'Reilly is the warden's daughter, living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison. But she's also living in a prison of grief and anger about the mother who died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. And prison has made her mad. This girl's nickname is Cannonball. 

In the summer of 1959, as twelve turns to thirteen, everything is in flux. Cammie's best friend is discovering lipstick and American Bandstand. A child killer is caught and brought to her prison. And the only mother figures in her life include a flamboyant shoplifter named Boo Boo and a sullen reformed arsonist of a housekeeper. All will play a role in Cammie's coming-of-age. But one in particular will make a staggering sacrifice to ensure that Cammie breaks free from her past. 

Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli spins a tale of loss and redemption like no other. The Warden's Daughter shows that kindness and compassion can often be found where we least expect it. 

Praise for the works of Jerry Spinelli: 

Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion. The New York Times 

It's almost unreal how much the children's book still resonates. on Maniac Magee"


Thank you Random House for sending me a copy of The Warden's Daughter for review. This in no way affected my opinion.

As a mother this story really moved me. There were many times I wanted to reach through the book and comfort Cammie. I think this book is great for kids in exploring the emotions and sense of loss and how to find your place when you live with that grief everyday. 

I teared up many times throughout the book but I wanted the ending to pack the same emotional punch. This story is so rich and full of emotion. Cammie's mother saves her but now Cammie has a hole in her heart she just needs to fill. Was Cammie the most likeable character no but she was relateable. That to me is more important and I appreciated that Jerry Spinelli made a character you may not like but that you still root for.

Cammie's horrible behavior and anger is from the sense of loss and I would have loved the reflection on what brought her to the point of closer nit just closer in the end. This book is a must read and I highly recommend it.

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About the Author:

When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his book Maniac Magee. After his high school football team won a big game, his classmates ran cheering through the streets — all except Spinelli, who went home and wrote a poem about the victory. When his poem was published in the local paper, Spinelli decided to become a writer instead of a major-league shortstop.

In most of his books, Spinelli writes about events and feelings from his own childhood. He also gets a lot of material from his seven adventurous kids! Spinelli and his wife, Eileen, also a children's book author, live in Pennsylvania.


  1. Love Jerry's books! Just stopping by to say Happy*New*Year :-)

  2. living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison? Christ. That alone got me interested in this story. Seems like an emotional read too. Great review. Glad you liked it.


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