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Destiny's Gift Hardcover – April 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584301562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584301561
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,827,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3–A bittersweet ode to a beloved bookstore that is threatened with closure. Destiny loves words, and the store's owner has long fostered that love by allowing the girl to hang around, encouraging her to learn new words and letting her help stock shelves and water the plants. Their special relationship may come to an end, however, when Destiny learns that Mrs. Wade can no longer afford the rent. This quiet, evocative book clearly reflects the special sense of community that a wonderful neighborhood bookstore can bring. However, there are no pat solutions here; the story ends with the closure still looming in spite of a community effort to appeal to the landlord and raise funds. The only resolution is Destiny's gift, a gift of words in the form of a story she has written for Mrs. Wade. Collage illustrations in soothing tones are a bit static, yet combine lovely, textured papers with pencil enhancements to create a warm, multicultural environment complete with well-stocked bookstore shelves. Pair this story with Arthur Levine's Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand (Morrow, 1993; o.p.) to spark a conversation about the importance of community involvement. Though not an essential purchase, a worthwhile addition nonetheless.–Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. The local children's bookstore is a special place for Destiny, who visits there and helps out after school and on weekends. She has a close bond with the owner, Mrs. Wade, who shares books and talks about the magic of words and stories. Then the rent goes up and the store may have to close, and that galvanizes Destiny and her parents to organize the neighborhood with fund-raisers and demonstrations to try to save the store. The characters are idyllic, but there's no slick solution: it's never certain that the store will remain open. Burrowes' clear, bright collages of cut paper, watercolor, and acrylics show individuals in a vital African American neighborhood, and the bookstore is a lively place with shelves of books displayed on almost every page. Many kids will relate to the adult who brings them the gift of story--at home, at school, at the library, or at the bookstore. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Destiny's Gift" is a lovely pastel collage-illustrated book about an African American girl's reaction to the threatened closing of her favorite bookstore, Mrs. Wade's Bookstore. Destiny loves to learn new words from the dictionary with Mrs. Wade, and to help with little upkeep chores on Saturdays. To Destiny, words and books are like candy; she wants to gobble up more and more and learn as much as she can so she can be a writer some day. When Destiny learns that gentle Mrs. Wade may have to close the bookstore because the landlord has raised the rent and she doesn't have enough customers business to pay the increase, she takes action. A neighborhood block party to benefit the bookstore is organized. Destiny also decides she will create a special gift for Mrs. Wade, a book titled Mrs. Wade's Bookstore that tells all the special feelings and experiences Destiny associates with the kind and learned Mrs. Wade. Although the ending is uncertain, "Destiny's Gift" has a specially poignant message of empowerment for girls and women of color.
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Format: Paperback
Destiny enjoyed writing and reading. She constantly carried around a notebook for jotting down her thoughts, and she gobbled up words from the books she read as if they were candy. Her love of the written word led Destiny to spend a great deal of time at Mrs. Wade's bookstore, browsing through books, meeting some of the authors, and helping Mrs. Wade around the store.

When Mrs. Wade told her one day that the rent had gone up and the store might have to close, Destiny became determined to mobilize the community and drum up new business. Would it be enough to keep the store from closing? With its bold cut-paper collage illustrations, this book provides young readers with a compelling account of some of the intrinsic benefits of small-scale booksellers and the difficulties that owners may have in sustaining their operations.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The illustrations were very beautiful and creative. The story was inspiring and teaches a very valuable lesson to children about empathy, determination, and creativity.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on February 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Destiny loves the small bookstore in her town. She also finds a great friend in the owner of the bookstore. She lets Destiny's help her in the store and they often read together. One day when Destiny goes to the store the owner Mrs. Wade is sad. She tells Destiny that the store might have to close because the store doesn't make enough money to pay the rent. Join Destiny and her whole neighborhood as they try to save the store!

The book left you in suspense. It didn't tell you if enough money was rasied to keep the store open.

I would recommend this to students who are learning more about communities. This is a great example of a community pulling together to save something important to them.
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More About the Author

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley is the author of the best-selling picture book I Love My Hair!, Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball, and other acclaimed titles for children and adults. Her children's books are on the recommended-reading lists of school and library systems worldwide. A former reporter for Fortune magazine, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Ms. Tarpley is the founder of Voonderbar! Productions, LLC, a multimedia children's entertainment company. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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