Shadow Baby Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Shadow Baby

Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee is the story of an eleven year old Cora winter (yes, spelled with a lower case w) and a special friendship that develops with Georg Kominsky, a local elderly immigrant. Coral is not an ordinary eleven year old, she believes that "a girl of eleven is more than the sum of her age". When she decides to question Georg for an oral history project, a surogate grandfather/father relatioship develops. Georg Kominsky is a man of few words and woven throughout the novel, is Clara's imaginative musings about what kind of life he has led. Another storyline that develops is the question of Cora's own history---who are her father and grandfather and what are the circumstances around her infant twin sister's death. Unwilling to fill in those gaps is her mother, Tamar.
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The review of this Book prepared by Lori Lovett

Clara Winter is an intelligent, imaginative 11-year-old girl living in the Adirondack Mountains with her mother Tamar, a Justice of the Peace. Clara has never met her father and knows that she once had a twin sister, but Tamar refuses to reveal any details about their whereabouts.

When she is given a school assignment to interview an elderly person, Clara chooses Georg Kominsky. Georg lives in a trailer park and Clara becomes intrigued when she sees him lighting the lanterns that hang outside his home. At first, Georg is reticent, but he eventually warms to Clara and the two become close friends. Finally, Clara tells Georg of the father she has never met and Georg agrees to help Clara find her father.
The review of this Book prepared by E. J. McDonald

Chapter Analysis of Shadow Baby

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin) Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   search for family/history Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Coping with loss of loved one(s)    -   Yes Loss of...    -   brother/sisters Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   grade school Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?    -   searching for identity/meaning Parents/lack of parents problem?    -   Dada gone

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Shadow Baby

Alison McGhee Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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