Review: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli Blog Tour

January 13, 2017 Blog Tour, Review 24

Review: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli Blog Tour
The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Pages: 352
Release Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Parents, Social Themes, Young Adult
From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the knockout story of a girl who must come to terms with her mother's death from inside the walls of a prison.

Cammie O'Reilly is the warden's daughter, living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison. But she's also living in a prison of grief and anger about the mother who died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. And prison has made her mad. This girl's nickname is Cannonball.

In the summer of 1959, as twelve turns to thirteen, everything is in flux. Cammie's best friend is discovering lipstick and American Bandstand. A child killer is caught and brought to her prison. And the only mother figures in her life include a flamboyant shoplifter named Boo Boo and a sullen reformed arsonist of a housekeeper. All will play a role in Cammie's coming-of-age. But one in particular will make a staggering sacrifice to ensure that Cammie breaks free from her past.

Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli spins a tale of loss and redemption like no other. The Warden's Daughter shows that kindness and compassion can often be found where we least expect it.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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A fond memory of mine in middle school was when my English teacher read us chapters of STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli every day. STARGIRL was an interesting, unique read that made me think, and THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER affected me similarly.

Cammie, the main character, is not exactly easy to get along with but she definitely grows on you. Once you find out more about her story I think everyone could manage to sympathize with her a bit. The other characters were a little harder to connect with, but it’s interesting to see how each one of them affects Cammie, especially when she looks back on the past.

I thought the pacing of this novel was great, although it is a shorter book I think it tells the story it was meant to tell and the length fits the narrative. The writing style is also very “Cammie,” and fits her personality. The ending was a little abrupt but the overall message is good.

THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER tells an emotional story, but I feel like some things go unaddressed – especially for the time period. This could have been due to Cammie’s age at the time because many things tend to go over a child’s head, but some aspects felt underdeveloped or unnecessary.

While I did have a few issues with this book, I would recommend checking it out – especially if you are a fan of Jerry Spinelli’s other works.


Other Blog Tour Stops

January 3: Seeing Double in Neverland
January 4: Here’s To Happy Endings
January 5: My Brain on Books
January 9:  Bookhounds YA
January 10th: Reviews Coming at YA
January 11th: Project Mayhem
January 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
January 13th: Readers in Wonderland
January 16th: The Cover Contessa
January 17th: YA Books Central
January 18th: Reading Nook Reviews
January 19th: Xpresso Reads



About the Author: Jerry Spinelli


When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead. He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.

Learn More:

Visit Jerry Spinelli’s Website


Rating Report
Overall: 3

24 Responses to “Review: The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli Blog Tour”

  1. Emma

    Oh wow, I have a couple of copies of Stargirl in the library and I’ve known a book to be repaired so much. Though I haven’t read anything by Jerry before and that probably a big problem given I’m a secondary school librarian. Great honest review, I will buy and try this for my library.
    Emma recently posted…WING JONES PHOTO BLOG TOUR: Stop 17

  2. Olivia @ The Candid Cover

    I have always enjoyed a good Spinelli novel. He usually touches on some deep emotional issues and it sounds like this one does just that. I can definitely see that reading one of his books with an adult lens, there are probably some concepts that could be better explored. I will have to check this one out. :)

    • Alise

      I know what you mean! I think it would be very interesting to go back and read Stargirl at my age now. Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. Sarah

    I love the cover for this – although I don’t know if I would get along with the characters. Sort of fifty fifty on whether to check this one out. However great review!

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