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My Friend the Painter Paperback – October 31, 1995


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 6
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152008721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152008727
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,284,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Young Claudio and his best friend the Painter spend hours playing backgammon and talking about everything from art to love to politics. One day Claudio comes home to find that his friend has died. Soon the rumors fly that the Painter committed suicide, and Claudio's grief gets tangled up with his confusion. Written with remarkable, sustained intensity, this novel tells how Claudio slowly sorts though his intense feelings and comes to an uneasy peace with the fact of his friend's death. Nunes blends intriguing philosophical musings with riveting dream sequences and touching, realistic narrative passages. Especially compelling are the sections in which Nunes describes the emotional resonance different colors hold for Claudio and the Painter. Kudos to Nunes for her masterful work, and to Pontiero for rendering it so gracefully in English. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-- A slight treatment of a boy's reaction when an older friend, a painter, commits suicide. His friend had lived upstairs, where Claudio had visited him almost every day; this man had encouraged Claudio's artistic bent, and talked with him about about life, art, and politics. After the painter kills himself, leaving a note that does little to explain why he does not want to live any longer, Claudio can naturally think of nothing else except the infernal "Why?" His question is partially answered by the man's married mistress; he no longer wanted to live because "he would never be a great painter." Claudio apparently accepts that this is all he's going to get, that he is angry over his friend's death, and that he will never really know why. The easy writing style has charm not lost in translation, but cannot make up for the lack of depth--Nunes skims over the deeper themes (life, loyalty, death, art, betrayal) without satisfactorily exploring any of them. Neither Claudio's first-person, near stream-of-consciousness narration nor his flat characterization engages readers' sympathies; as a result, what could have been a moving chronicle of a young boy's coming to grips with the realities and tragedies of life and death has little emotional impact. --Janice M. Del Negro, Chicago Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on June 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
While this is marketed as a book for children, it is a brilliant study in friendship, suicide and art - a book that easily enjoyed by adults as well. The premise is that an eleven year old boy finds his adult friend dead - he hears/has heard from his friends tales of political imprisonment, of a refound first love, and of art. Out of this he tries to sort out the "why" of his "Friend the Artist's" death.
This exploration is carried out with brillant images - images of the emotional content of colors, dream images of three people sharing a continuous costume, and the boy's litany of "why's". This exploration has no missteps - it is an excellent piece of writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chlo on February 21, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I thought the book was wonderful. It dealt with suicide in a way that allowed children to read and understand it. It was also interesting to read for a person of my age, and I am a high school senior. I still love the book. I've had it since I was 8 years old. I love it and would recomend it to anyone.
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By Gisele M. Habib on January 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read and re-read Lygia's books since I was a little girl. Though her books are marketed as kids-young adult, I still find myself in awe of her.
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