Friday, March 9, 2012
This book feels like a missed opportunity, particularly after having read All the Broken Pieces and Inside Out and Back Again, both verse novels which take place during this time period. Testa's narrator places her book at a disadvantage; her young age limits the emotions she can express and her understanding of the situation. At age six, she is not taking the emotional pulse of her family members, to the detriment of the reading experience.
The book is not without its redeeming qualities. The broadness of the writing makes it easy to discuss in the context of current events. The publishers clearly felt the same, updating the cover from the version I read (above left) to a more modern cover (right). It would be interesting to discuss how life is different for kids whose parents are currently deployed, as opposed to Testa's characters. It may inspire young readers to write their own verse poetry.