Ann lives in upstate New York. Hearts will go out to both Hattie and Adam as they step outside the confines of their familiar world to meet some painful challenges. This is an important story, as evocative on the subject of mental illness as Ruth White's Memories of Summer Farrar, A solid, affecting read.
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Buy at Local Store. We might say now that he is on the autistic spectrum and has some other distinctive emotional and cognitive problems. But Adam himself is a perfectly believable character, and he will long remain in readers' memories.
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A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
What's Happening to My Body? Why Are You So Sad? Wildwood Will You, Won't You? Hattie stands up to two girls who call Adam a "freak". She later says that this is only one of the challenges Adam faced during his life and that it made it difficult to be Adam. One day a carnival arrives in Millerton. Hattie becomes friends with a carnival kid named Leila. Hattie spends many afternoons at the carnival and the girls ride all the carnival rides for free and eat whatever they want.
A corner of the universe
Adam and Hattie attend the carnival together twice. Hattie feels that her grandparents are unnecessarily restrictive with Adam and helps him sneak out of the house to go to the carnival at night. When Adam loses control on the Ferris wheel, he's taken away by police and Hattie is in serious trouble with her family.
A few days later, Adam returns to Hattie's house. He is as happy as ever before and has flowers for Angel Valentine.
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Hattie goes to see if Angel is in her room and Adam goes along. He pushes past Hattie and opens Angel's door to discover that Angel is inside but that she and her boyfriend are locked in a passionate embrace. Adam rushes away and disappears. He hangs himself and his body is found late that night. Hattie asks to speak during the funeral and finds the opportunity to speak out about Adam's good qualities. She especially points out that he was able to find happiness.
Hattie soon befriends a girl who moves into the boardinghouse and discovers that her life can go forward and be better for having had Adam in it. Read more from the Study Guide.