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.