Josie's Song


87 pages
ISBN 0-88887-138-4
DDC jC813'.54






Illustrations by Kerry Rauch
Reviewed by Elizabeth Levin

Elizabeth Levin is a professor of psychology at Laurentian University.


Two girls from opposite sides of the track meet, overcome their
differences, and become such close friends that when one finds true love
and leaves the other wishes her only the best. Josie’s Song is a not
particularly inspired retelling of an old tale.

China Dalton, who is rich, and Josie, who is poor, get paired as
science project partners. On her first visit to China’s home, Josie
(aka Sloppy Jo) breaks an antique Ming vase. There are, of course, no
parents to contend with; Mrs. Dalton has abandoned China to roam the
world as a photojournalist and Dr. Dalton is always too busy. Later,
China visits Josie’s home where, true to the cliché, in a poor family
love abounds.

Despite meticulous work on the science project, Josie ruins it at the
last moment; the girls have to wing it, and, of course, they get an A.
Soon Josie, at 16 and in Grade 10, decides to join her new drummer
boyfriend on a road trip; Sloppy Jo and Grease have fallen in love,
after one chance meeting the day before.

The intended moral (no pun intended) is don’t judge a book by its
cover: Josie really is a good kid. The story, however, is not good
enough to make up for all the other subplots such as deception at school
and irresponsible love. Even preteens will see through it. Not a
first-choice purchase.


Rauch, Kerry., “Josie's Song,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,