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Loose Threads Paperback – May 3, 2007

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this hard-hitting debut novel, seventh-grade narrator Kay chronicles her grandmother's struggle against breast cancer in free-verse poems. The poetry tackles not only the tactile lumps and "wiggly, jiggly prostheses," but also the more abstract yet realistically sketched stages of denial, anger and grief. Kay's everyday junior high tribulations and insightful observations about friends, crushes and her difficulty coping provide a welcome counterpoint: "School rolls on./ Class after class./ Teachers give assignments./ It's so fake/ when real stuff is going on." Kay also pinpoints the differences between the four generations of women in her home: "Gran Eula/ is so harsh and strict./ Mom is such/ a perfectionist./ What/ are they about?/ It's Grandma Margie who/ is sweet." Grover effectively charts Kay's evolving strength, grace and faith, as her feelings of separateness cause her to befriend the class outcast, to hug her undemonstrative relatives and to tie up the titular loose threads by learning to knit, fight and eventually even let go of Grandma Margie. Throughout Kay offers her fierce, unsentimental perspective, such as at the funeral: "Why should I trust/ two guys with shovels/ who smoked, whispered, and chuckled/ the whole time/ our pastor was praying?" Any reader who has faced cancer, death or just struggled to define his or her own truth will respond to this memorable heroine and the novel's themes of loss, survival and remembrance. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-When her grandmother is diagnosed with breast cancer, and throughout the months after, seventh-grader Kay feels the fabric of her family will soon unravel. How can she deal with this tragedy, along with her own preteen problems with school, boys, and friends. Through her narrative, this series of brief poems relays the emotions of four generations of women affected by Grandma Margie's announcement, subsequent mastectomy, chemotherapy, and death. While the subject of cancer is not trivialized, the somewhat stilted lines and poetic format take away from the story's immediacy. Readers are likely to want a stronger sense of Kay's relationship with her grandmother, but they are constantly distracted by poems that fail to illuminate that relationship or the protagonist's feelings. Character development is weak, and the author keeps readers at arm's length from caring about their situation. The poems are honest, however, tinged with the palpable angst that most teens would feel in these circumstances. This is a commendable, though not entirely successful effort, with a valuable resource list and bibliography of information about cancer. If a little awkward to read, this is still a useful resource to add to the canon of books needed on this important topic.
Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (May 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416955623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416955627
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,969,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. I used to pretend to read before I could by carrying around Nancy Drew books and flipping through the pages. I studied ballet for ten years and was a member of the Miami Ballet Company. When I grew too tall for the profession, I turned my focus to fine art at the University of Miami. Eventually, my love for the written word yielded verse novels and board books. My fantasy novel, Firstborn, received a Kirkus Starred Review, and my board book, Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish, was named a Parents Magazine Best Children's Book. I co-founded readergirlz and readertotz. Living with my husband in the foothills of Mt. Rainier, I write, practice weapons tai chi, and watch hawks take flight.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book and really enjoyed it. I know the author of this book and I think she did a great job. Definitly five stars.
This book is about Kay, a girl who lives with her mother, her grandmother, and her Great Grandmother. She lives in Florida. Kay finds out that her Grandmother has cancer. This is very hard for their family.I cried over this book. I recomend this book to everyone!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ponine Pontmercy on April 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing. When I first heard about the book, I thought, "It's all poetry?". I picked it up and read a page, then another page, and I didn't stop, until I was finished. It made me laugh and cry and think, "Hey! I've felt like that before!" This book deserves more than just 5 stars!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Loose Threads is the best! It is very touching, thought-provoking, sensitive, sincere, and offers true insight into deep subjects. This should be most helpful to the young as well as to the adult. The work is inspiring and well written!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is truly wonderful. I've given it to two friends who both cried at the end and loved it. Though it involves the subject of breast cancer, to me it was more a study of 4 generations of women: a girl, mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The way the main and sideline characters react to the grandmother's cancer and how the 4 main chars. interact with each other is fascinating. Grover is an author to watch. Amazing work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My 11 year old daughter and I both loved this book! We laughed, cried and cried some more as we experienced "Kay's" love and loss. Breast Cancer and dying are not
easy to talk about but this story's thought provoking honesty sparked meaningful conversation between the two of us.
I highly recommend this moving novel especially to grandmothers, mothers and daughters.
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