Friday, September 6, 2013

Poetry Friday - A review of Where I live

Many years ago I worked on a young adult novel manuscript that was written in blank verse. When the author told me about the format my heart sank a little. I thought that the story was going to be challenging. To say the least. When I started reading I quickly came to realize that I had a gem in my hands. The book was fantastic and I learned that novels in verse can be amazing. Today's book is just such a title. Eileen Spinelli uses her considerable skill to tell a story that is sweet and timeless.

Where I liveWhere I live
Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Fiction (in poetry form)
Ages 9 to 12
Penguin, 2007, 978-0-8037-3122-6
   Diana loves her home. She loves the fact that a wren is nesting in the wreath on the front door. Diana also loves her best friend Rose. Rose and Diana fit together like vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce. Rose never complains when Diana starts talking about stars, and when Diana works on her poems. Rose is always there when Diana needs someone to talk to.
   Then something happens that turns Diana’s world upside down; her father loses his job. Diana’s parents are going to have a hard time paying for their home without Dad’s wages. After Mom goes to visit her father, she comes home to announce that they are all going to move in with Grandpa. Mom and Dad won’t have to pay a mortgage if they move, and Grandpa will have someone to share his large lonely house. They are going to move away from the yellow house and from Rose.
   Diana is heartbroken. She will never have another friend like Rose. She will never have a house like the yellow house that she lives in and loves. She will never be happy again.

   Written as a series of poems, this warm, touching, and evocative story will resonate with readers of all ages. Because of her father’s bad luck, Diana is forced into a new situation, and in the process, she learns that change is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it can even make life richer and more interesting.

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