“LOOKING FOR ME,” by Betsy R. Rosenthal, Houghton Mifflin, April 2012, Hardcover, $15.99 (ages 9-12)
Told through short poetry, join Edith in her journey to find herself during the Great Depression.
A unique storytelling method and a fantastic quick capture of a young girl’s story, this book was fascinating. Edith, age 11 going on 12, is from a family of 12 and generally feels she is the one who doesn’t stand out much. Working hard to answer the question of her teacher, “Who are you in your family,” Edith believes she is only No. 4, but she is aware of her calling to be the “good, little mother” who helps with all of the younger children and follows the rules of her older siblings. Edith tells of her struggles, joys and sorrows.
Throughout the story, you learn of family ancestry, family dynamics and the joys of a “penny candy party.” A heartbreaking memory told within the story, where (for once) Edith finds her family too small, captures your emotions. In the conclusion, Edith discovers much more about herself and discovers the answer to the question.
When I began the story, I was pessimistic of the poetry side of things; however, it turned out to be one of my most joyful reads. The stories were precise, descriptive, and simple — yet pieces to the puzzle of one’s life. In the end, I learned as it had seemed, that these were the stories captured by a daughter of the life of her mother, aunts and uncles. A very captivating and touching read.
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