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Granny Torrelli Makes Soup Paperback – January 18, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this endearing story by Newberry Medal-winner Sharon Creech, a wise old Italian granny skillfully imparts life advice (and cooking lessons) to her winning but sometimes obstinate 12-year-old granddaughter.

Best known for Walk Two Moons and The Wanderer, Creech makes good use of another inventive format: Rosie's story unfolds first, over making and eating zuppa, and then Granny Torrelli tells parallel stories from her own childhood to help Rosie with her current predicament. Granny Torrelli's tales are laced with endearing, fun-to-say Italian: "I didn't like it, not one piccolino bit," as is her attempt to help Rosie mend her rift with her best friend Bailey ("That Bailey boy!"), for whom she's starting to feel more-than-friendship feelings.

The details of both Rosie's and Granny Torrelli's respective stories are often quite funny (from Braille jealousy to secret guide-dog training for the legally blind Bailey). But, as usual, what Creech does best is slyly proffer small, nourishing morsels of wisdom--not unlike the cavatelli, the "little dough canoes," that Rosie, Granny Torrelli, and that Bailey boy labor over in the book's sweet second half. Just be warned that you might find yourself starving by the end of the story. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-Sharon Creech's novel (HarperCollins, 2003) provides a humorous and endearing narrative about intergenerational relationships. Twelve-year-old Rosie and her grandmother, Granny Torrelli, begin to make "zuppa" as the story unfolds. The culinary setting becomes the backdrop for conversations about the ups and downs of adolescence, and the growing pains associated with the change in friendships over the years. The audio rendition brings a palpable energy to the text. Donna Murphy excels with her vocal characterizations and pacing, providing a vivacious and empathetic reading for all the characters and their moods-the earthy, honest Rosie, animated Granny Torrelli, composed Bailey, and Rosie's bouncy, upbeat nemesis, Janine. Diction is clear throughout. This is especially important as Italian phrases and words are sprinkled throughout. Teachers and librarians who are focusing on children with disabilities can use this as an insightful tool, as Bailey's blindness is faced head-on. The culinary experience can be shared by visiting Sharon Creech's homepage (http://www.sharoncreech.co.uk/torelli_recipes.asp) for Italian cooking recipes.
Tina Hudak, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Riverdale, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (December 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439649315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439649315
  • ASIN: 0064409600
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in upstate New York.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rosie and Bailey are best friends. But what happens when the new girl in town seems to be occupying Bailey's mind a little too much for Rosie's liking?
Enter Granny Torrelli, who has a way of putting things in perspective as she makes soup and other foods in preparation for a pasta party. Stories from Granny's girlhood in Italy help Rosie to see that jealousy is normal, and that the best friendships prevail no matter how angry friends get with each other from time to time.
The characters' voices are all wonderfully authentic. Granny Torrelli is Old-World Italian without being a stereotype. Rosie's pre-adolescent emotional ups and downs are recognizable and bittersweet to older readers; younger readers will see themselves in her as well.
The pronunciations of the Italian words are fun, and skillfully incorporated. I wish Sharon Creech had transliterated "chia chia chia" for the readers, though. It's not pronounced "CHEE-a," but "keeAH" -- it's the sound a chatty person makes, with all their talking!
You don't have to be Italian to like this book. You just have to have people in your life who you care about; people who you hope will always be with you.
But if you like tomato sauce, this book might make you a little bit hungry, too.
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Format: Hardcover
Rosie's very best friend since birth is a boy named Bailey who lives on her block. There's not a thing that she and Bailey don't do together or wouldn't do for each other; in fact, though they're only eleven, there's a general feeling in town that Rosie and Bailey just may one day fall in love and marry. But for right now, Rosie and Bailey are having an argument, and that's when Granny steps in!
In part one of the novel, Granny and Rosie are making soup together. It's their private time, and Rosie loves being able to talk to Granny about her problems. In Part II, Bailey joins in the kitchen, and they all make pasta, meatballs, and sauce together. This time, Granny helps the youngsters see how little spats, jealousy, new friends, and past experiences all come together to teach the lesson that life is too short for petty anger.
Granny Torrelli is wise-very clever and wise-and her Italian accent and crass ways are part of her charm. Sometimes Granny gives just the right advice, sometimes she says nothing, and sometimes she completely takes over the novel as she tells a story to Rosie and possibly Bailey about her life back in Italy as a young girl. The stories are riveting and always jam-packed with life advice.
This story is fun, funny, and full of important lessons. Sometimes, it's even sad and touching, like when Granny tells the story of a sick little baby who taught her the true meaning of life.
The more of Sharon Creech's books I read, the more impressed I am with her ability to see the tremendous importance in the little things in life. If you liked _Love That Dog_, then you'll appreciate the beauty of these words.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the first half of Granny Torrelli Makes Soup (a complete story in itself) to my fifth grade students the day before Thanksgiving break and they were spellbound. As Sharon Creech slows peels away the layers of Rosie's and Bailey's relationship, revealing Bailey's not-so-secret, she deftly explores the nuances of relationships and feelings towards those we love. It was obvious, by the looks upon their faces (and the absence of whispering - a miracle)that the children strongly identified with the main characters. My class also loved Granny's words of wisdom and parables of friendship and were thrilled when Pardo and Granny's young relationship echoed Rosie and Bailey.
When we got back from vacation, the first words out of their mouths was "when are we going to read the rest of Granny's story?" The were thrilled when they filled their gumball jar and unanimously voted to read the rest of the story (Granny Torrelli makes pasta).
The angst and emotions of the children in the story struck a chord in those in my class. Many confessed in their Writer's Notebook that they had felt both the way Rosie had (left out, betrayed when she did something for someone else and was not appreciated, and jealous). They also could identify with Bailey's feelings of inadequacies, need for his own uniqueness, and being flattered by someone new while overlooking a loyal friend.
Buy it for a preteen or teenager, but read it for yourself first. It makes for a great read aloud, especially since the stream-of-consciousness format makes it difficult for less than experienced readers.
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Format: Hardcover
It all begins with a fight. Even the best of friends fight. And now Rosie is with Granny Torrelli talking about Bailey, her best friend, and thinking about their friendship over the years. Bits of memories flutter out onto the pages and we learn about Bailey, how he slowly grew blind and how his father left. We also read about more recent episodes when Rosie did some not-so-clever things. They were always done with the best of intentions but the results were often disastrous, and very funny. While sharing these memories, Rosie and Granny Torrelli make soup and talk.
Then, when the fight is over, something new develops between Rosie and Bailey. There is a new girl living on their street, and in no time Rosie finds that she does not like this newcomer one bit; jealousy has reared its ugly head. So Rosie, Bailey and Granny Torrelli make pasta and sauce, and Granny Torrelli tells the best friends a story about jealousy, and then another story that changes everything.
In no time at all, we know Rosie and her granny quite well. Rosie even tells us how Granny Torrelli pronounces certain words: "Zuppa! She calls it. She says it like this: Zoo-puh!" Granny Torrelli is the kind of grandmother we all would like to have. She sees things as they are and speaks her mind, yet she is funny at the same time. Granny sprinkles her speech with Italian as she does her cooking and tells her stories.
In Granny Torrelli, Sharon Creech has created yet another larger-than-life character who we can fall in love with and will want to hold on to. Told from Rosie's point of view and broken up into very short chapters, the prose in this delightful book is colloquial and personal. We are taken deep inside Rosie's thoughts and feelings, and we cannot help but grow fond of this girl who loves so hard and who is lucky enough to have such a wise grandmother.
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