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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Book Review: Where I Live

Author: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Interest Level: 2nd Grade and Up



About This Book: 
 Diana loves where she lives. She loves the astronomy charts on her walls and the fact that she can wave to her best friend, Rose, from her very own window. And best of all, a wren has recently made its home right by her front door! When her family is forced to move, Diana wonders if she’ll ever find that same grounded and happy feeling again.



Six Reasons Why We Have to Move

1. Because Dad lost his job. 

2. Because we're short on money.

3. Because Grandpa Joe lives alone in a big, empty house.

4. Because Grandpa Joe wants to share his house with us. 

5. Because I don't get a vote about moving. 

6. Because even if I did, it would be three against one. 

This gentle and ultimately redeeming story in poems is about those secure and fulfilling friendships that happen naturally and easily when you live right next door, and the struggles of losing the comfort of a familiar place.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I love this book. Let me say it again - I Love This Book!  Times have been tough lately.  People are struggling.  The ecomony is down.  Unemployment rates are up and many of our familes find themselves thrust out of their homes as a result.  A LOT of our students have attended different schools and have had to make many moves to new homes.  These are the kids who really need us to reach out to them and be compassionate and helpful while they adjust to a new home and school. I really had no idea what sort of reaction I would get from students when I read Where I Live. My hope was it would give students in these hard and often emotionally difficult situations a voice. It's done that and so much more.  After I read it to a second grade class, many of them were clamoring around me desperately trying to tell me their story of moving. Some kids moved from another state, some moved from across town, some even moved from another country, and some kids haven't moved at all, but it allowed them to gain a sensitivity towards the other children who have moved. I felt like this book must have been a 'labor of love' for Eileen Spinelli. Because she has given children a beautiful little story written wonderfully in the form of poetry full of precious characters like Twink and Rose. I especially cared for Mrs. Clifford, Diana's teacher, who validated her feelings when she had to move.  Sometimes when I read a book, I might have a few kids not paying attention. Not with this read, even the squirliest of the squirelly had their eyes and ears 100% on me. I know Where I Live has done a lot of healing in my school. There are not enough books out there helping kids with a big life transition like moving. So I was grateful for this new find and will continue to use it as a tool to help students experiencing or facing a move.

A Link to This Book:

2 comments:

  1. This book sounds wonderful! We have high mobility in our school - this would definitely reach many of our students. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. The kids love it. I was carrying the book down the hall the other day and a 3rd grade boy saw the cover and said: I Love That Book!!!

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