To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us. Full study guide for this title currently under development. With her boxed-up belongings in hand, she crosses town and knocks on the door of a local foster lady.
Ellen says she would never sleep in a "colored house". Throughout her journey, Ellen is hopeful that she will someday find a nice and loving home, which she eventually does. On the other hand, her father himself has his "colored buddies" with whom he drinks.
Tweet When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would think when I went to the house and write down ways and tricks of how to have her. Ellen is scarred for a long time afterwards, for at the close of the book, she still cannot bring herself to cry.
She tells Ellen of how she had known her mother as a child and says that Ellen looks very much like her. Ellen also overcomes her racial prejudice and is very glad that her new mama allows Starletta to spend the weekend with her at her new home.
The two time levels are united at the end of the novel, when Ellen is about twelve years old. Despite having imagined how she would kill him, Ellen sheds a single tear mourning his death.
Starletta is not big as a minute. Her grandmother is furious at her show of emotion for her father and tells her never to cry again. Instead, she lives with her alcoholic and abusive father, who cannot manage the household. During the summer, the grandmother forces young Ellen to work her cotton fields in the scorching sun among black workers.
Ellen is indeed a lonely child, quietly observing the happiness of other families, yearning to belong, and making mental notes about what her perfect family should be like. Ellen eventually realizes that it has not been she, but Starletta, who has had the "hardest row to hoe," as she is a black girl who is growing up in a highly racist community.
Starletta slides out of her chair and her mama says to take something you better eat. She used to be a flower child but now she is low key so she can hold a job.
For herself, she asks for art paper as a present. In bed that night, Ellen thinks to herself how lucky she is to have her new mama, who, in the future, will provide her with plenty of love, food, and nurturing.
Characters in Ellen Foster[ edit ] Ellen Foster is the year-old protagonist of the novel. Starletta and her parents, who are black, live in a grungy cabin without an indoor bathroom.
I wanted to cry for her more than once. You need to look over your shoulder at the one who is in charge of holding you up and see if that is a knife he has in his hand. She is referred to as the "bosslady" by her workers and she even makes Ellen work in the cotton fields during the summer.
Her mother suffers from a heart condition and Ellen has to protect her mother from her abusive husband. Ellen Foster is ultimately a coming-of-age story, as Ellen engineers for herself a place in the secure, nurturing family she has craved and simultaneously comes to understand herself better through her friendship with Starletta, her black friend.
The story she tells is heartbreaking in its starkness, the abuse as much emotional as physical. She has a good friend, Starletta, who comes from a poor family living in a cabin without an indoor bathroom. Ellen also realizes that despite all the difficulties she has faced, her friend has had even more hardships.
On the following morning, having decided to leave her father for good, she packs all her belongings into a box and goes to Aunt Betsy, who has no children and whose husband has recently died.
I grew to love this character who beats the odds and eventually finds a home where she is accepted.
Ellen is ashamed as she remembers how, two years ago, she would not even eat supper with Starletta and her family and only because of their skin color.
Ellen gradually becomes conscious of this, especially when she recognizes that Starletta will not be able to date the white boy on whom she has a crush, solely because of her skin color.
She also feels shame at how she treated her friend because of the color of her skin.Ellen Foster is a stunning, simple book about domestic violence, abuse and racism through the eyes of a child.
Ellen is a survivor by any definition. Ellen is a survivor by any definition. She uses her intelligence, wisdom, and wit to overcome things that a child should never have to overcome.
A short summary of Kaye Gibbons's Ellen Foster. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Ellen Foster.
Ellen Foster has 25, ratings and 1, reviews. Angela M said: This is a short but powerful and a lot of the time a painful story. Ellen Foster is /5. Ellen Foster () is the debut novel of American author Kaye Gibbons. The novel tells the story of ten-year-old Ellen Foster and her challenging childhood.
The novel tells the story of ten-year-old Ellen Foster and her challenging childhood. Dec 14, · Fact-based story of a legal battle fought over custody of five siblings.
Director: Michael Ray Rhodes. Ellen Foster (#) See more» Filming Locations: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No | /10(). Ellen Foster may be the most trustworthy character in recent fiction." (New York Times Book Review) "The story of a redoubtable girl who overcomes adversity with humor, spunk, and determination, Kaye Gibbons's first novel is a work of considerable subtlety and intellectual sophistication.Download