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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Memoirs
  • Language:English
  • Pages:272
  • eBook ISBN:9798350941722
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350941715

The Invisible Girl on Ames Street


by Vivian Lee

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This enchanting trip down memory lane captures the imaginative and hope-filled desires of the author as a little girl, fueled by the TV shows and movies she watched in the early 1960's. The memoir is wry and humorous and contains numerous scenes that both capture well the color and character of the times, painting pictures of kindness, cruelty, heartbreak and hypocrisy, by showing not telling the reader. She lets the stories speak for themselves, making them all the more powerful. Her memoir of a little girl filled with imagination and hope not only conveys the time and place vividly but also the perspective and character of the little girl she was. These are timeless lessons to be read and discussed for ages. Really, a very fine piece of writing.
Synopsis for Vivian Lee's: The Invisible Girl On Ames Street This engaging memoir is about Vivian, an impoverished young girl who lived in a small apartment on Ames Street in Saginaw, Michigan in the early 1960's. As the readers follow her many adventures, daily challenges, spiritual hopes, and fantastic dreams, they soon realize that Vivian's story is even more relevant now than it was in that era. From the first chapter when readers begin to learn of the clever ways in which Vivian's vivid imagination shields her from the harsh realities of her life, to the final chapter where they experience the sorrow of the innocent nine-year olds' shattered childhood and eviction from her home, Vivian invites them to see the world of poverty through the filters of a hope-filled green eyed youngster. Written in her unique style, Vivian's message will be received differently by a variety of audiences. Some young readers will enjoy her as a character in an almost fictional way. As she roams the streets, railroad tracks, and buildings of Saginaw, youngsters will experience the day-to-day life of a "free-range child". They will read in Chapter 12 Summertime Swimming: "There were skills we acquired as "children of the streets." We learned where the public bathrooms, water fountains and places to get out of the elements were located. We discovered all of the shortcuts and alleys and knew which businesses had front doors and back doors that allowed us to cut through city blocks. Traveling this joint adventure with Vivian may help school-age children see their peers through kinder more tolerant eyes. Those seeking a career in social work, teaching, and community service will benefit with a new insight to hidden trauma and hopefully develop skills to recognize the subtle ways that children are affected by poverty. Through the discussion questions at the end of the book, these mature readers will be encouraged to develop ideas to help the vulnerable children overcome life's obstacles. The reader learns in Chapter 24, Cold And Hungry, that for children living a life of trauma, sometimes the simple act of survival is their biggest accomplishment: "With red legs, arms, hands and a face framed with wet hair from melted snow, I entered my classroom ill prepared to face a day of learning. The rest of the class chatted and laughed with each other; oblivious to the frozen expedition I had once again endured. Although I was about to face another day of failed classroom lessons, I had survived another trek to school. Survival was my sole victory. Adult readers of all ages will be enchanted as they relive their own memories of the early 1960's. From the non-stop references of tunes on her AM radio, schoolyard games, children's toys, newscasts, television show, and movies, Vivian takes the hand of the readers on her never-ending search for Walt Disney, God, Communists, and food. From Chapter 16 Influences Wonderful World Of Television: Through the curved glass I went to Mayberry to visit my "brother" Opie. I was entranced by my "real mom" June Cleaver and bonded with my "other brother" Beaver, in Mayfield. I learned about life in the west through the shows Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and Wagon Train. Donna Reed and Harriet Nelson taught me about family life. Hazel taught me that a maid is the smartest person in a house. Perry Mason showed me that innocent people are often accused of horrible crimes but the guilty people always confess in the end. Each week I experienced the magic of Disneyland through Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Captain Kangaroo read to me in the mornings and Mitch Miller used his bouncing ball to sing with me in the evenings. I learned that the world is a dangerous place through the alarming images on The Hunkley-Brinkley Report. This is book more than a memoir, it is a call to action. It is an invitation for everyone to realize that they can make a difference in the life of another human being. It is a timeless story whose
About the author
Vivian Lee, author of The Invisible Girl on Ames Street Vivian Lee was born in Saginaw, Michigan during an era of abundance of wealth and prosperity in America. Unfortunately, the bounty was not meant for divorced mothers with small children. With an older sister and younger brother, Vivian was the invisible middle child. As a youngster, she was humorously threatened by her struggling mother that she would be sold to the gypsies. Instead of fearing the fate of a wanderer, she embraced the idea. Making mistakes, roaming, and starting over again would become the pattern of her life for decades. Along her journey, she managed to raise three successful children, get married multiple times, and finally met John, a loving man who showed her that she is loved and valued and that she could quit roaming. Vivian put down roots and enjoys a prosperous and loving life in Missouri with John. With no accredited college degrees, she graduated from the School of Hard Knocks, and the University of Life. Vivian now travels on adventures with her husband and dog in a motorhome, but she always finds her way back home. Vivian is no longer invisible. Please enjoy her story of hope and redemption. And like she says in this book, carry God's joy joy joy joy down in your heart and you'll never walk alone.