A Corner of the Universe

A Corner of the Universe

by Ann M. Martin


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Ann Martin's phenomenal Newbery Honor book, now in paperback.

The summer Hattie turns 12, her predictable small-town life is turned on end when her uncle Adam returns home for the first time in over 10 years. Hattie has never met him, never known about him. He's been institutionalized; his condition involves schizophrenia and autism.

Hattie, a shy girl who prefers the company of adults, takes immediately to her excitable uncle, even when the rest of the family -- her parents and grandparents -- have trouble dealing with his intense way of seeing the world. And Adam, too, sees that Hattie is special, that her quiet, shy ways are not a disability,.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439388818
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 01/01/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 99,268
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.62(h) x (d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Ann M. Martin is the creator of The Baby-sitters Club, which has more than 176 million books in print, making it one of the most popular series in the history of publishing. Her novels include A Corner of the Universe (a Newbery Honor Book), Belle Teal, Here Today, A Dog's Life, On Christmas Eve, and the Main Street and Family Tree series, as well as the much-loved collaborations P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More, with Paula Danziger. Ann lives in upstate New York.

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A Corner of the Universe 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 188 reviews.
Brookeylynn More than 1 year ago
This is another book by Ann M. Martin that I read when I was in about 6th grade. It's really good and teaches you to love others even though they're different from you. Great young adult book!
CarolynAnneFogleman More than 1 year ago
This was a very emotional book, but not a Romance book. This book made a big impression on me, and really changed my outlook. It is the kind of book that will make readers everywhere not want to put it down. It is about a young girl, Addie trying to put up with her mentally challenged uncle. This was a amazing, fantastic, stupendous book. You will not regret reading this book. And as Addie said, "I think we should know that Adam was one of those people who lift the corners of our universe." I think we should all know, remember, and see the people who make a difference in the world. -Carolyn Fogleman Age 12
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably one of the best books I ever read, and sort of changed my view of things. Although towards the ending it is a bit sad, (you might even jerk a tear) but I recommend this book to everyone (even adults).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so touching be ready to cry
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As you meet Adam, a young man with a mental illness that no one understands, you relize the importance a smile. As you join Hattie and Adam you will fall in love with Adam and his corner of the universe!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am now seventeen and read this book for the first time when I was ten. When people ask me what my favorite book is, I still tell them A Corner of the Universe. I have never cried over a book before in my entire life but somehow this book can still bring me to tears even after reading it at least ten times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! I loved it! sad and happy and very descriptive! read it! read it! read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ann M. Martin, author of A Corner of the Universe (Scholastic, Inc.; New York, NY; 2002) does an excellent job of bringing humor to the pages of this novel. It is just entertaining enough to capture and keep the reader¿s attention and interest. This book is easy to relate to and easy to read, especially on a rainy day. The diverse characters are easy to love and enjoy.

Hattie Owen is an only child whose parents own and run a boarding house in a small town with not much going on. Hattie lives a very unchanging life and likes it; she is best friends with all of their boarders: Mr. Penny, a retired clock-repairer with a room filled with coo-coo clocks; Miss Hagerty, a primped old woman who only allows Hattie to see her without her make-up on; and Angel Valentine, a young bachelorette with a mysterious boyfriend.

The summer Hattie turns 12, her whole world turns up-side-down.She finds out she has an uncle of whom she never even knew existed; he is her mother¿s brother and his name is Adam. Hattie can¿t figure out why her family, grandparents included, are acting so strange about Adam¿s return. When he finally comes into Hattie¿s little world, she realizes that he is different. His behavior is very odd; for example, he responds to serious situations inappropriately by giggling uncontrollably. Adam also comes up with lines from I Love Lucy for any situation at any time, and then he cracks up about it.

At first, Hattie doesn¿t really know what to think about her newly ¿discovered¿ uncle and his peculiar behavior. However, Hattie quickly falls in love with his fun-loving attitude and eccentric way of thinking. Furthermore, Adam just adores his niece Hattie and so eventually they are inseparable. Hattie tries to include Adam in on almost everything their family does, eventhough her family doesn't approve. After a while, she gets frustrated that no one can see Adam the same way she does. Everyone thinks she is just overreacting until one day, Adam ends up missing.

A Corner of the Universe is a perfect book for young adults that are ready to hang on to their seat. Martin¿s flavorful book of mental disorders and boarding houses is exciting, yet sentimental at the same time. The characters are easy to love and relate to. Uncle Adam¿s humor and spontaneity is worth every minute of reading this novel.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eleven-year-old Hattie Owen only has one friend in the world, her best friend Betsy who always goes away to Maine for the summer. With this summer stretching out before her, Hattie looks forward to visiting with the shopkeepers downtown, painting with her father, and reading stacks of books from the library. Those plans suddenly change when Hattie finds out that she has a secret uncle named Adam who is coming to stay with her grandparents for the summer. Adam is unlike anyone Hattie has ever met. He's... different. He's in his own little world. As Hattie's grandmother says, he is "mentally ill". But as Hattie comes to know Adam, she grows to love the person that he is: loyal, honest, loving, fun, and smart in the most surprising ways. Again, wonderful narration by Judith Ivey. She's great at doing different voices and keeping them all separate. A poignant coming-of-age story.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hattie suddenly discovers she has an uncle she's never heard about when Adam returns home. But Adam is not just any regular uncle; Adam, she is told, is mentally ill. Adam is loud and enthusiastic and repeats things over and over and quotes continually from I Love Lucy. And, in addition, Adam lifts the corners of Hattie's universe. Recommended.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ann M. Martin has written, to my knowledge, three books now involving autistic characters - a stand-alone novel in the 80s, that BSC book, and now this one.I like to be complete, so I thought I'd check this one out and compare it against my memories of the others. This review WILL contain spoilers, I'm sorry, because there are a few issues I have with the book at the end.First, you should note that Adam's characterization clearly reflects increased knowledge of autism. This is as it should be - the other two books are painfully outdated... but it wouldn't be fair to judge her for writing a book in the 80s that uses the knowledge we had in the 80s. Adam is never officially diagnosed, but it's fairly clear from the speculation ("some thought it was autism, some thought it was schizophrenia") and a few specific details of Adam's behavior (he engages in scripted speech, he has the savant skill of calendar counting, he is totally lacking in the social awareness that says do NOT stare at women's chests) that he's intended to be on the spectrum.How accurate is this depiction? I don't know. I have a hard time believing that you COULD memorize many - much less all! - full episodes of I Love Lucy in the days before VCRs, but then, I didn't live in the 60s. The calendar counting did annoy me. Most autistics are not savants (and only about half of all savants are autistic - Kim Peek, the inspiration for Rain Man, was not autistic, for example).I was happy to see that Adam is a real character. He has interests and feelings and a life. You get the feeling that he has some greater purpose than to simply provide character development for his niece. This is in contrast to disabled (particularly autistic) characters in many other books, who really are just there so the people they come in contact with can have a renewed appreciation for life or be kinder or I don't know what. Some commenters has mentioned that his behavior is "inconsistent" - he's "sometimes childish, and sometimes adult". This is accurate, though. Adults with developmental disabilities are still *adults*. They still have adult feelings, even if in some ways their understanding isn't up there.Which brings me to another point, there are some mildly adult situations in this book. Adam stares at his crush's chest, and accidentally walks in on her with her boyfriend. It's not really that bad, but of course every family will have to make its own judgments about appropriateness. And now we get to the end of the book, and the reason I gave it such a low rating. THIS IS WHERE THE REAL SPOILERS COME IN.After seeing that he really doesn't have a chance with the pretty young woman who works at the bank (and after a trying few days where he had it made clear to him, again, that his family doesn't really want him to act the way he is), Adam goes and kills himself. And Hattie (who considers herself to be like her uncle in some way, although the reasons why are never given) thinks it over and calls this brave in her mind. Not the sort of braveness she'd like, but brave all the same.It's not the suicide or the lackluster condemnation of the act that concerns me - actually, it's very clear that suicide has major repercussions for the people you leave behind.It's the context. And this might be unfair, but I think the context is important. We're not living in a world where people love and accept the disabled. We're not living in a world where this is ONE voice about autism and suicide. We are living in a world where prominent autism organizations can make videos where mothers say - in front of their verbal autistic children! - that the only thing that has stopped them from killing those same children and themselves is thinking of their *normal* child. And when called on it, these same organizations can then claim that every parent of an autistic child really wants them dead. (Alison Singer, in the short film Autism Every Day.) We are living in a world where parents who locked their autistic son i
Tahara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Corner of the Universe is a story about a girl who is shown a very different perspective of life by her seceret uncle. This dramatic story has what charictaristics many would call a good book. This book would not a be a good choice for those who crave adventure. A Corner of the Universe is for more of the sensitive readers who love drama, love, and friendship.
Heather19 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*spoilers!*This was such a wonderful book I'm not even sure how to put it into words. I got this book mainly because I've never read a book by Ann M. Martin that wasn't in one of the BSC series, so I was curious. A friend had recommended it to me because of my interest in all mental illnesses. Reading about how Hattie's family and the people in their town react to Adam really made me think, made me realize that maybe we've come farther then I thought, or maybe I just live in a really great town, to have never seen anyone act that mean to a person who is "different". It was wonderful reading it through the eyes of a 12-year-old who was completely unfamiliar with mental illnesses, to watch her struggle to understand why her family treated Adam so differently when, for awhile at least, he seemed not much different then herself.The calm and uneventful days with Adam obviously would end, and I knew that, but it was gripping to read about the incident at the carnival, so scary and intense for them.... And then the ending... yes, I cried. Because of the way the book started out, I knew Adam would leave somehow, but THAT.... I had not expected.
jasmine84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about uncle that have trouble with his mind like thinking different ways then others in the family especially his mom. The main character is a little girl but she can feel all the things that her uncle think. But with the little girl help cant turn out much different because it turn out that not so many people accept him as normal person. With the shock and terified about the way he feels it end up hang himself dead. This is a sad ending and it happen so fast. I dont want the story end like this. But worth of reading. Must read!
jcole7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel is about a young girl named Hattie Owen. Hattie home is a boarding house that her parents rent out to several other boarders. In the beginning, Hattie lives a lonely life. When her only friend lives for summer vacation, Hattie really feels all alone. Until one day her parents tell her of an unfamilar uncle to Hattie that will be coming home from an institution that he spent the majority of his life at. Hattie and her uncle Adam develops a friendship.I really enjoyed this book. I could relate to autism-like sypmtoms that Hattie's uncle adam had because my mom taught special education.For classroom extension ideas: A lesson could be taught about autism with a discussion and how students should handle others that may have autism. Another idea,based on the boarding house home that Hattie lives in, students draw a picture on what their home looks like.
MrFClass on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a very interesting and amazing book. In this book a girls uncle named Adam that has mentally ill problems has now come back home from his mental hospital. They are worried about him and what he might do by the end of the book which puts a very big excitment and twist to this book.
chelsealee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A Corner of The Universe by Ann Martin is a great book that is defiantly one of my favorites. I read this a few years ago and I have been planning on reading it again. It is a story about a young girl and her mentaly retarded Uncle that she was unaware of untill his school was closing and he had to move back home with his family. This book tells the story of 12 year old Hattie's summer dealing and loving her newly found Uncle.
linnaea44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fabulous novel! This novel did a great job of portraying a young girls point of view about family dynamics. I was amazed at how intuitive she was about her families relationships. The description of the characters was very well thought out and created a perfect picture. I thought it was sad when Hattie internalized a lot of her feelings and felt like she wasn't able to talk to people, that they wouldn't understand. It was amazing to see Hattie's growth and maturity with every turn of the page. She had such a big heart and best of intentions, but not quite old enough to make sound decisions. I would recommend this book to most middle school age students; and I think all adults with kids should read it.
Sarah21123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hattie's summer is turned upside down when her Uncle Adam comes to town. She is not quite sure what to think of him, but their adventures grows a bond between them both. She is thrilled that the circus came to town, and has quite the experience getting to know the crew. A surprising twist at the end of the book leaves both Hattie, and the reader in shock.
mikitchenlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Touching and surprising. As a parent of a child with special needs, this book is particularly poignant. Does not have a happy ending, so may be hard for some to deal with.
mitchsar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a touching book by one of my favorite childhood authors. Some young girls will be able to relate to the main character, who is painfully shy, full of doubts, and more comfortable with adults than her peers. It¿s a coming of age story in which growing up means relating to people one¿s own age.
DayehSensei on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
12-year-old Hattie was expecting-- and looking forward to-- another uneventful, predictable summer in her small town, helping out her family's boarding house. Everything changes when Hattie's Uncle Adam, who is said to have mental problems, comes to visit. Set in 1960, this is a touching novel that accurately portrays that difficulties and misconceptions of mental illness and a young girl's struggle to make sense of a complex world.
Jordan50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was great! It was kind of sad at the end but it was still a great book. i would recommend this book for everyone. :)
CathyGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very great novel. Filled with understanding, from a child's perspective.
kimmclean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young girl learns that she has an uncle who is mentially challenged who comes to lives with the grandmother. She befriends him over the summer at the same time she meets a girl who is part of the summer county fair. She goes to the fair everyday. One day, unbeknownst to the family, she takes her uncle to the fair and encourages him to go on the ferris wheel. He says no, but then OK. He gets up top when it breaks down and he freaks out and tries to climb out of the their seat. Police come and he is taken away. He later commits suicide.