Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Where I live by Eileen Spinelli illustrated by Matt Phelan

I had a spare half hour so I picked up another verse novel today - Where I live.  This is written for a younger audience but as with all verse novels it still packs an emotional punch.

Diana lives with her mum and dad and baby sister, whom she has named Twink, in a yellow house with white shutters.  She loves all things to do with space, writing poetry and her best friend Rose and life is good.  Her other favourite family member is her grandfather who lives 6 hours away in Pittsburg.  He is a regular visitor.

The complication comes when Grandpa Joe has an accident and breaks his arm and Diana's father losses his job.  Diana talks with her teacher who offers wise advice :

"I tell Mrs Clifford
about Dad's job
and no money
and going to live
at Grandpa Joe's.
She nods.
'It's okay
to be sad, Diana.'

'And I'm mad too,'
I say.
'I'm mad at Dad's company
for letting him go.
I'm mad at Twink
because she's so happy
and already packing.
I'm mad because I don't
get a vote about moving.'

'It's okay
to be mad, Diana."

One of the really special things about this book is the wonderful illustrations.  Each picture perfectly captures the mood of the moment.  You can see some of Matt Phelan's books here.  You can see some of his work here and read an interview.  Here is another great idea.  A pinterest made with items that match this book. The author web site shows you all her books.  I will certainly recommend this book to my younger students when we return to school next week.

You might also enjoy Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie.

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