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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on October 17, 2003
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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on February 24, 2004
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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on July 1, 2004
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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on September 24, 2003
This is one of the best books I have read this year. In this short novel, with so few words, Creech has created unforgettable characters and a story filled with true emotion. It has a lot to say about family, friendship, and community. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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on November 21, 2006
Marc's book review on

Granny Torrelli makes soup

I read an interesting book titled Granny Torrelli makes soup by Sharon Creech. It is a realistic fiction book set in modern day life.

The main characters in this story were a girl named Rosie, her best friend Bailey, and her granny Torrelli. This book is about Rosie cooking with her Granny Torrelli and telling her about her friendship with Bailey. Granny Torrelli tells great stories to Rosie and tells of her greatest adventure.

The main problem of the book occurs when Bailey and Rosie's friendship is in trouble and they may never be friends again.

My favorite part in the book was when granny Torrelli took her friend Padro's dog Nero for a walk in the woods and Nero run off and ends up going back to Padro. This was my favorite part because she was looking for Nero but Nero and Padro where looking for her.

I really enjoyed this book it was just a book filled with a ton of stories. I would recommend this book to people that like a nice easy read because even though this book is short it has a very good message in the end.
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on July 25, 2005
I am a middle school Language Arts teacher from Florida where GRANNY TORELLI MAKES SOUP is among the 15 books selected as Sunshine State Young Readers recommended books for the 2005-2006 school year. Having read all 15 books this summer, a few stood out as being worth a 5 star rating; GRANNY TORELLI MAKES SOUP is one of those books.

Were I to be asked to teach simplicity in storytelling using a young adult (YA) novel, I would certainly choose this book from this list (which also includes the excellent YA titles: WHEN MY NAME WAS KEOKO, SAHARA SPECIAL, THE UNSEEN and AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS -- I would also highly recommend the superb SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson). This book is very short, but WOW! it shows the mark of a brilliant storyteller/cook -- not too much, not too little. Sharon Creech is like a master painter using only what is needed to inspire the audience. I am in complete awe of her ability!

I highly recommend this book.

[I will not reveal any more of the story than other commentators already have as I feel that the joy of the reading is in discovering what comes next.]
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on February 10, 2015
This is one of my favorite books for read-aloud with my students. I love the dialogue, the tale of friendship, and of course, the opportunity to read it in my best accent! A lovely story of friendship!
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on February 19, 2015
This book lives and breaths the love of family and friends. It invites the wisdom of a grandparent into the intricacies of deep friendship. After reading this book, I sent it to both of me granddaughters because I knew they would cherish it as much.
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on January 12, 2005
The book I'm reviewing is called Granny Torrelli Makes Soup by Sharon Creech. I gave this book four stars because it is sad. This is a good book, but not my favorite. The book is about a girl and her grandma having good times and bad times with friends. The grandma came to America and left her friend, Pardo, behind. Her friend's dog gets tied to the railroad track. Pardo tries to get the dog untied but gets run over by the train. I would recommend this book to some of my friends. Sharon Creech also wrote Pleasing the Ghost, Ruby Holler, Absolutely normal Chaos, Love That Dog, Walk Two Moons, Chasing Redbird, Bloomabilty, The Wanderer, fishing in the air, and a Fine, Fine School.

Emerson, NJ;(...)
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