Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli

Main character: Diana, a budding poet and astronomer
Location: A six-hour drive from Pittsburgh
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: J Fiction, Verse

This is such a sweet and charming little book--little in size, but not in heart. Diana is a young girl who loves her yellow house, her best friend Rose, the wren nesting in the wreath on the front door, and the night sky. She writes a poem about the sun and it wins a school contest. She wakes up happy in the morning. Her life is good.

But then her dad loses his job and her parents decide to move to Grandpa Joe's house near Pittsburgh. Diana is heartbroken. She has to say mad-sad goodbyes to her yellow house, her teacher Mrs. Clifford, and Rose, and she knows she will never laugh again.

Since Diana writes poetry, this book is written in a series of poems. In spare language, the author reveals Diana's happy highs to her mad-sad lows. The illustrations are black and white pencil drawings, but I can feel the glowing warmth of the yellow house and the deep softness of Rose's purple floppy hat (or "purpy flopple" as they call it.)

Where I Live is on the 2009-2010 Texas Bluebonnet Award List.

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