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Comment: exlibrary hardcover book in jacket with light wear, shows some light reader wear throughout ,all the usual library marks and stamps.
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Winter Sky Hardcover – January 7, 2014

3.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God
I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. Hardcover
$15.57 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–7—Siria's dad is a firefighter who doesn't know that someone special watches out for him; each time his daughter hears a siren, she sneaks out of her apartment building to chase his fire truck and make sure he is safe. During one such nightly pursuit, Siria discovers evidence of what she believes to be arson. Who could be purposely setting fires? When clues point to someone close to home, Siria must find the strength to unravel the mystery. Despite moments of seriousness, such as her father getting injured during a rescue and a fight with her best friend, conflicts are resolved smoothly and quickly. Interspersed throughout the book are tales about Siria's namesake, the star Sirius, which add a layered dimension to the storytelling. Children will relate to Siria's desire to protect her dad and those she loves. A powerful tale of friendship, family, and discovery.—Kerry Roeder, Professional Children's School, New York City

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old Siria lives with the memory of her mother—who left behind a narrative guide to the stars—and the reality that she might also lose her single firefighter father, whose job sends him repeatedly into danger. The residents of her apartment building serve as a surrogate extended family, complete with siblinglike friends, grannyesque babysitter, spatting young marrieds, and a not-so-stray dog—especially in the Christmas season, when homemade gifts are in process. Afraid for her pop’s safety, Siria has a penchant for chasing late-night fires. Surrounded by loyal friends, her curiosity about the cause of the local fires makes her question those closest to her. Siria’s strength grows as she confronts her suspicions and faces her own truths. Fans of award-winning author Giff will appreciate the smooth juxtaposition of the mother’s warm omnipotence through her ethereal guidebook, the devastating burning power of fire, and the crystal clear luminosity of the winter sky. Grades 4-7. --Gail Bush
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0520 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375838929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375838927
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia Reilly Giff is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Newbery Honor books, Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. She lives in Trumbull, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first book I've read by Ms. Giff. She's been around a long time, though. I was curious about this book and it did turn out to be an interesting one...

The story is about a 12-year old girl, Siria, who's father is a firefighter. Her mother died when she was young and told Siria to watch out for her dad. Siria takes that seriously and even sneaks out at night without her babysitter knowing, so that she can make sure her dad gets through the fires safely. Someone starts setting fires in her neighborhood and she isn't sure who it is. At one point, she suspects her best friend and several others, but eventually, she figures out who it is.

This book is written at about a 3rd or 4th grade reading level. The font is large and the sentences uncompllicated. It would be a good book for a 6th or 7th grade reader who is struggling.

The ending to this story is one which I had to sort through with my husband. I was puzzled about what to think (Please don't read ahead if you are concerned about any spoilers.) In days gone by, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were the mysteries of the day. As well as Scooby-Doo... All three had something in common. The bad guys were indeed bad guys. They were not humanized and the reader didn't sympathize with them. What they were doing was clearly wrong and eventually they were going to get caught and get in trouble for it. It was very black and white--very clear what was right and what was wrong. Today, our culture often sees criminals very differently. They are portrayed on the big screen and in books often in a very human way--in a way that you want to empathize with them for their motives and why they committed the crimes they committed. This book is on that end of the spectrum.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wasn't enthralled by this book. The writing is rather on the spare side, but not in a poetic or evocative way, just an I-need-more-detail sort of way. I didn't connect with the characters and I had no sense of place. The plot could have gone somewhere, but it was pretty predictable early on in the book.

Twelve-year-old Siria lives with her firefighter father and is frequently cared for by her babysitter Mimi while her father is at work. Her mother died before Siria could really remember, but she left behind a book all about stars, especially Siria's "own" star, Sirius. Being the only parent she has left, Siria worries constantly for her father and feels that she must be there for him whenever there is a fire. That means she climbs out her seventh floor apartment window, slips down the icy fire escape in the middle of December and hops on her bike to follow the sirens, all without Mimi or anyone else over the age of eighteen being aware.

Lately someone has been setting fires and Siria feels it is up to her to solve the mystery and stop the "arsonist". The clues seem to lead - if one jumps to conclusions and makes unwarranted assumptions - in an uncomfortable direction and Siria finds herself grappling with the meaning of friendship.

Siria is, naturally, the most developed character in the book, but even she is rather pale and bland. The character with perhaps the most potential is Izzy, Pop's female firefighting co-worker. We get very little sense of Siria's friends or Pop himself. And the excerpts from Siria's star book not only don't add anything, but actually detract from the characters.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
SPOILER ALERT!

Winter Sky, by Patricia Reilly Giff, is well written and easy to read. I think children would be able to easily get through the text. However, having said that, my first problem with the book showed up in the first few pages when Siria sneaks out of her house at night. She sneaks out and goes to the fires her father is fighting—she feels she needs to keep him safe. She does this on a regular basis, sneaking out by fire escape on the 7th floor. As a parent, the idea of a child sneaking out of the house, alone at night, scares me to pieces. I would be hesitant to introduce the idea of sneaking out for late night adventures to young kids.

Someone is setting fires, and at first Siria suspects her best friend, Douglas. Arson is a serious crime and the fact that it is downplayed and goes unpunished was problematic to me. When she finally meets up with the person setting the fires, his explanation is that he had to keep warm. It gives the impression that doing the wrong thing if you can justify it makes it okay.

The characters weren’t very clearly drawn and so it was hard to connect with them, and really get a feel for who they are—so in that sense they didn’t come alive for me. They seemed flat.

The only part of the book I liked was Siria’s relationship with her dad and the fact that she got to keep the stray dog.

As I said, well-written, easy to read but there are just too many bad lessons for kids here.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
So i decided to read this book first then let my 8 year old read it. While I didn't agree with the lack of punishment for illegal acts (arson) I wanted my daughter to read this so she could tell me what she thought.

As I suspected she shared parental concern with the main character, but didn't think it was ok that she kept trying to protect her dad. She also wanted to talk about why the little boy who kept starting fires was doing it to stay warm. It opened up another chapter for us to talk about homeless people and ways they justify things that are against the law.

The world we live in is not perfect and while most kids do worry about their parents I think its important that we help our kids draw that line between books and reality. Being homeless is something that is real and plenty of kids have parents with jobs that can't guarantee they will always come home at the end of the day.

Winter sky overall is an ok book, but I would of liked to see a better ending and more character development. Depending on the age of your child you may want to read this one first and decide if its material they are ready for.
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