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Circle of Gold (Apple Paperbacks) Paperback – January 1, 1996
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Mattie is brought to life by her relationship with other characters in the story. You know she is hard working by how her and her twin brother split the household chores and by the respect the family she babysits has for her. Besides her family concerns, there is another story going on at school between her and two other students who accuse her of stealing from one of them. Readers will know that this is not Mattie's personality and that her honesty will come out in the end.
It is these two stories going on at the same time, the home situation and the school problem, that will engage readers in this book. In addition, this contemporary realistic fiction could be any young girls story and Mattie is a good model. Boyd (1984) realistically portrays a family in trouble but one that can find their way back through each other's love and support.
I am giving this book to my fifth grade son to read and I hope he likes it as much as I did. The story is genuine, realistic (the author admits that it is basically a true story from her life), heartfelt, moving . . . well worth reading for a tween aged young person. The writing is not literary -- and pales in comparison to the writing of a youth novel master such as Christopher Paul Curtis -- but the story makes up for that.
Highly recommended for ages 8 to 12.