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Looking for Me Hardcover – April 17, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Family, food, traditions, births and deaths are presented with unadorned reality as seen through the eyes of a young girl. There is pathos and humor but all enfolded in a close knit household where the common thread is love. There is a short piece that tells of Edith's father going to his mother's house, Bubby Anne, on Tuesdays for the gefilte fish that may be a little boney. The family lives on a street with mostly Catholics so there is a short verse on how difficult it can be to keep Kosher with all the bacon, shrimp, crab and pickled pig's feet being offered when Edith visits friends after school. When her friend Eunice offers a kielbasa or a ham sandwich and Edith must refuse she expounds that she's "a picky eater". In reality Edith doesn't want her eating rules to get in the way of play.
As the family grows Edith must work harder and harder to maintain her autonomy. There is a description of sharing the tub; back to school clothes she describes as hand-me-down down down down downs, her desire to sleep "one to a bed" and not waking with feet in her face; her wish to spread her arms wide and not be told she can't. Each small poem highlights a slice of life in the days and times of long ago Baltimore for a little girl who we can't help but admire.
The book ends with Edith being fearful that her family won't attend her school achievement ceremony where she will be getting an award.Read more ›
Even better then that this book was totally enjoyable. Rosenthal's novel in verse covers life in the mid 1930s as Edith and her large family (12 children in all) grow up. Edith is the fourth in her family of twelve, looking for her place in life. She can quickly identify her siblings - her three brothers that hang out together, her baby sister, an older sister who doesn't ever stop playing- but Edith isn't quite sure who she is yet. However, she is aware of how their clothes are always hand me downs -as are their shoes, how there are too many people in the family to be invited somewhere for supper, and how they must sleep three to a bed. Times are tough, and the fact that they are Jewish further sets them apart.
Rosenthal bases this book on her own mother's childhood growing up in a large family. She has listened to the many stories of her aunts and uncles and her mother and managed to transform them into this amazing story. This is a fast read- I began this afternoon and finished just after supper. Students will easily relate to Edith and the stories of her youth. The text is easily accessible making it a perfect read for elementary students.
I'm adding this one to my school library's collection as soon as it comes out in April.
I should say that although it made me immensely sad, it is not a "downer" of a book. After a dreadful (but realistic) tragedy, the story moves forward and pulls out an optimistic ending, and the Afterword reinforces the sense that it all worked out okay.
As historical fiction, this is really top-notch. Without being overly obvious, Looking for Me teaches about life in the Depression and specifically Jewish American life. The poems are not difficult and the book is a quick read, but it communicates a wealth of experience. Fantastic read.
This story, in free verse, tells of all the goings-on in Edith's life in one year - her feelings about being fourth in such a large family, her days at school and her affection toward her teacher, the way this teacher sees a good future for Edith, love, loss, mischief, her twelfth birthday, and so much more.
These poems are spot-on in voice and tone for a girl of Edith's age. Readers will laugh, cry, be angry, be confused, all the emotions, right along with Edith.
The back matter contains a helpful glossary of terms appropriate to the time and place and Edith's Jewish faith, as well as photos of Edith and her family. This work is about a real person, and the photos and glossary make it even more real and make it easier for the intended audience (about ages 9 through 12) to understand.
This is a fairly short work that I enjoyed immensely, and I believe that the intended audience will enjoy it as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very touching book. Great reading for adults also. Brings back my own memories. Very well done.Published 3 months ago by Susan Braun
Fantastic read. My students were able to connect and extract the deeper meanings of the text.Published 11 months ago by Ambra Blaisdell
Anyone who has experienced the responsibility of taking care of younger siblings should read this book.Published 13 months ago by jimmie Claudine Pope
Such a great portrayal of life in a large family. Even though I grew up in a very different environment, I could readily identify.Published 17 months ago by Carol
I absolutely love the honesty of the characters. I also enjoyed the family dynamic aspect. In large families, it is sometimes hard to know where each member fits.Published 19 months ago by Joshua W Perkins
Great book. This is one of my favorite books, and I love reading it. It's perfect for 11-14 year olds.Published 20 months ago by Meg
This book is so enjoyable. I don't want it to be over. I love her descriptions of her place in her family!Published 23 months ago by Sheila Thompson
This was a great book. I wish it was longer though. I loved it. I think the author really wrought an amazing bookPublished on February 11, 2014 by nina oday
This book was an amazing book! The writing is exceptional and I recommend this book to everyone! I can't believe this is a true story!Published on December 25, 2013 by Mrs A Rite