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Rope Burn Hardcover – January 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6AThis upbeat story takes a fresh approach in dealing with common concerns. For English class, Richard is supposed to "write a composition about a proverb that illustrates something that has happened" to him. As he considers the assignment, he is overwhelmed by the number of proverbs that could apply to his life, which has recently been turned upside down by his parents' divorce and a move to a new house in another part of town. Each chapter is titled with a well-known proverb and subtitled with Richard's explanation of how the saying applies to his circumstances. Through this writing assignment, Siebold gently guides readers through cross-sections of Richard's life as he examines his past and learns to express his feelings. Kids with an eye for detail will notice the graphics at the top of each page that correspond to the chapter headings. Teachers could read this book aloud and then use its premise as a jumping-off point for similar assignments. Each chapter is an invitation for classroom discussion and can stand alone.AKit Vaughan, J. B. Watkins Elementary School, Midlothian, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Siebold gives an 11-year-old boy the chance to gain a better understanding of himself and his family through effective use of a well-worn devicea class assignment. To fulfill a school requirement, Richard, 11, redefines well-known proverbs, then uses them as a framework to talk about the fears and feelings unleashed by his parents' recent divorce and his move to a new neighborhood. Filled with realistic dialogue and subtle humor, each short chapter offers a simple yet thought-provoking story about a different aspect of Richard's life. He writes about being the ``new kid'' in an unfamiliar school, becoming best friends with James, overcoming his fear of climbing the rope in gym class, feeling guilty about ``secret weekends'' with his father, and attending a funeral service for the first time. From the first sentence (``I hate writing'') to the last, the tone of the book is engaging and true to life; Richard not only gains understanding, but discovers his own voice as well. (Fiction. 9-12) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; English Language edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807571091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807571095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,683,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Koester on February 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What an excellent book for any young person! It is especially good for a young person experiencing divorce. As an adult child of divorce, I could relate to Richard's feelings about the break-up of his parents. And as a teacher, I can see how students could relate Richard's feelings about being at a new school, making new friends, etc. I especially loved the ending - it gave great closure to the story and left me with a strong message...finding your voice in writing (or just as a young person) can be so powerful. A great read for a child or adult!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a boy his parents are divorced and in school he has to use a proverb as a story. And in gym class he has to climb a rope but doesn't know how. But with a little help, he may not have to worry about it anymore but then again he may!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I loved this book, it was heartwarming, and everyone should read it. It was a "Texas Bluebonnet Award" Winner. It deserved every single qualifacation that you need to be a bluebonnet! You'll absolutely love it! A MUST READ!
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By Heidi G on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
Richard likes his teacher but when Mr. Best assigns his students to write about their lives using proverbs, Richard just can't seem to come up with what is expected. He's got plenty going on to write about--the breakup of his family, the move to a new school, and the fact that he will probably be laughed at in his PE class--but Mr. Best says Richard's writing points toward what Richard thinks Mr. Best wants, not what is really coming from Richard himself. Valuable lessons are learned as he navigates the writing assignment, keeping secrets from his mom involving his dad's new girlfriend, and the usual social (mis)adventures that come from trying to fit in. A great read about believing in your own self. Although the protagonist is 11 years old, the subject matter is entirely appropriate for older readers, including those struggling with reading.
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