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Friends, Family, and Food
on August 19, 2003
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.