Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Anastasia Krupnik is a short novel about her tenth year, during which she learns about herself and others. Anastasia is the only child of a professor-poet father and an artist mother, and her life is a relatively happy one until a series of events causes her to consider her situation. First, she gets an F on a poem that she wrote for Mrs. Westvessel’s class. Anastasia has written the poem in a style she learned from her father, but that style does not meet with Mrs. Westvessel’s approval. Anastasia is humiliated and hurt until her father assures her that she is not a bad poet.

Soon the F seems a minor issue when she learns that her parents are expecting another child. Anastasia is unhappy with this turn of events: She considers the impending birth of her baby brother to be a humiliating and completely unnecessary occurrence. She thinks that her parents are much too old to be having a baby. “Thirty five is too old?” her mother asks. “You don’t need a baby,” Anastasia argues, “You have me.” She decides that she will move out of the apartment to make room for the baby. Her father convinces her that she need not make that decision immediately.

Anastasia keeps a green notebook in which she lists the most important things that happen to her during her tenth year, and she has a page divided between “THINGS I LOVE” and “THINGS I HATE.” During the course of the novel, several items jump back and forth between the...

(The entire section is 499 words.)