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Replay Hardcover – September 27, 2005

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Sharon Creech explores the hopes and longings of an introspective middle child from a boisterous Italian clan in this humorous, character-driven novel. Leo's family calls him "Sardine" because the quiet twelve year old often finds himself sandwiched between his more outgoing siblings. One rainy day in the attic, he discovers his father's teenage journal. In it, he reads that his careworn parent used to dream of being a dancer, a writer, a famous athlete, just like Leo! He also discovers a photo of his father's family that includes an unfamiliar girl in the background. Could it be the mysterious Aunt Rosaria no one speaks of? As he tries to untangle this family mystery, he is also preparing for his school play--a tale of an old man whose life is revived by weaving his childhood memories into stories for his neighbors. How can Leo convince his father that, like the old man in the play, he needs to talk about Rosaria to heal the hole she left in his life? Through the parallel dramas of the play and his chaotic home life, Leo begins to understand the importance of stories and our need to share them, whether they are treasured memories or future dreams. Creech includes the full text of the play, Rumpopo's Porch, in the back of the book. Middle grade fans of Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park or The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going are sure to enjoy this heartfelt, thoughtful read. --Jennifer Hubert

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-8–Meet Leonardo. His family calls him sardine, as he often feels smashed between Contento, his moody older sister, and his two younger brothers, Pietro and Nunzio. His life is filled with possibilities; he's a dreamer (which gains him the additional nickname of fog boy). But two events converge in unexpected ways, leading to new understanding, growth, and insight. Leo finds a journal written by his father at age 13 and is chosen for a part in a play written by the drama teacher entitled Rumpopo's Porch. To his dismay, he is given the role of the Old Crone and the journal presents a person whom Leo doesn't know. Gradually, however, the Old Crone comes to appreciate Rumpopo just as Leo begins to see glimmers of the 13-year-old boy who matured into his now-frazzled father. Life, like plays and replays, has a cyclical nature. A rift in Leo's large, noisy, and completely realistic family begins to heal after a near disaster when Nunzio is injured, just as a hole created by loss can heal. Leo's fantasies intertwine with actual events, adding humor and insight. Characters are brilliantly delineated by their actions, reports of Leo's observations, and short dialogues presented in both conversations and in screenplay form. As Leo matures, nuggets of wisdom emerge from the simple text in this beautifully crafted novel. The script of Rumpopo's Porch is included to further clarify parallels. For in the end, all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.–Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 850L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060540192
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060540197
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,777,468 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Lingel on March 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Maybe it's because I've always been drawn to acting. Maybe it's because I've always been a (day)dreamer myself. Maybe it's because I have always struggled to connect with my family. Maybe it's simply the amazing power of Creech's writing. Whatever the reasons, Leo has become a character I will never forget.

Sharon Creech's "Replay" tells the story of the day-dreaming Leo, though he is better known to family and friends as "Sardine" or "Fog-Boy" -- both nicknames that Leo hopes to leave behind at some point in his life -- in a coming-of-age story that will ring true to any middle child in the chaos of a large family that is always on the go. How do you deal with being cast as the "Old Crone" in the school play? How do you grow up in a family that never seems to know you're there? How do you connect to a father you don't understand? Especially when you find the autobiography he wrote at age 13 and learn about all those passions he once had that now seem to have faded.

As a middle school teacher, I have shared this book with my class. In watching my students as we read it together, I have watched my students laugh at Leo's daydreams, commiserate with his failures, and share in his joys. Most importantly of all, however, is that as Leo learns to look at his father with new eyes, so too have I seen my students begin to look at their parents in ways they never have before.

In the end, not all of Leo's dreams have come true, but he succeeds in taking one step further in the process of growing up, and does so in an authentic way that will resound to anyone who struggles, or who struggled, with that greatest of tasks in life: Becoming who you are.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mcHaiku on February 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Sharon Creech is a favorite author for delivering surprises in format and style. It is fascinating to follow the way she develops the character of pre-teen dreamer, Leonardo. In the crush of a large household, Leo feels unnoticed much of the time, one of 4 kids who usually sound like a thundering herd. His discovery of an auto-biography written by his father at age 13 opens Leo's eyes to the question of a "missing" aunt, and to his father's dreams. He realizes there are watershed events in most lives that dictate change, and his father's was a heart attack.The author does not cater to lazy-minded readers. She exposes the family's past to daylight & reminds us that everyone agonizes over growing up.

Chapter books can leave one with a stand-out favorite; mine was "Chores" to which I related & laughed about the most. Every mother would be grateful for a similar solution to doling out family responsibilities! Braided into Sharon Creech's story is the mystery of Rosario, the 'lost' aunt; the chaos & stresses of everyday life; and the 3rd strand: a school play written & directed by an insightful teacher. Leo, in the undesired role of 'the old crone' discovers that happiness can be found in less-than-spectacular achievements.

Reviewer mcHAIKU will continue to enjoy this tale of every child's fantasies of success and delivers this opinion: DON"T MISS READING "REPLAY" !
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When you live in a big family of 4 kids and 2 adults, you might think you would get a lot of attention and love and live like "one big happy family", as the saying goes. Well, not in Leo's case. Join Leo through a story of love, comedy and pure happiness in Replay by Sharon Creech.

Leo's Italian family consists of his grouchy older sister, Contento, his two younger brothers, Pierto and Nunzio, and his mom and dad, who never really pay attention to them. With so many people, the house id never still and there is always something to do. However, no one really notices Leo, either, and his dream to become a famous actor on Broadway.

Suddenly the world is spinning. Leo finds out about an unknown, missing family member named Rosaria, who no one really talks about, he gets the part of a crone in the school play and then there's his friend, Ruby's mysterious, dead brother.

When I first read that Leo had a big family, and was never really noticed, I thought of one of my friends who lives in a family of seven. She is never really in Leo's case of "un-noticed-ness". I thought this was interesting and decided to compare the two families.

In the end, I realized it was the parent's fault for not paying enough attention to their kids. While my friend's parents were active in school projects and talked and played with them, Leo's mom often called them " a big band of useless goats". Leo's dad never really talked or played with them since his heart attack two years ago.

Toward the middle of the book, I noticed the conversations are turned into play-script text. I thought Sharon Creech was very creative to have done this. It gives the book an interesting touch.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've always been a mite bit cautious around Sharon Creech. She's one of those authors I have a great deal of difficulty wrapping my head around. I can never quite figure out if she's the greatest living children's author to set foot on God's green earth, or if she's a proto-Joan Bauer teetering on the edge of treacle. I was hoping that "Replay" might clear this problem up for me. Though I've read Creech's extraordinary, "Walk Two Moons" her amusing, "Love That Dog" and her difficult "Ruby Holler", the jury is still out on her as a writer. As it stands, "Replay" is a very amusing book. It uses an occasional play format to convey a single boy's journey from his private fantasy world to a place where he doesn't mind living. Along the way he solves a mystery and gains a small measure of small-time fame. I've read it through and thought it over, but "Replay" doesn't solve my Creech dilemma. All we have here is a very nicely written book that never becomes too dark or too malicious and ends in an exceedingly satisfying way.

Leonardo is our hero, but you'd never know who he was if you lived in his house. No one calls the boy by his real name. He's usually Sardine, after an amusing childhood incident, or Fog Boy, due to his dreamy nature. The second eldest child in a family of six (NOT including the million or so sundry aunts and uncles and other relatives that come over regularly), Leo's used to feeling invisible. He had hoped that maybe getting cast in the school's upcoming play, "Rumpopo's Porch", would give him the attention he feels he so desperately deserves. Instead, he ends up as the Old Crone. Not the most glamorous of parts. Still, Leo's a good kid. He's willing to tough it out.
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