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Author: Fitzmaurice, Kathryn
A delightful story about unexpected connections, about the stories that shape our lives, and about the most perfect kinds of happy endings.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 160879
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
School Library Journal (06/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (05/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2013 Emily’s father, whose identity is a mystery, has always been missing from her life, but this story revolves around another mystery: it’s a missing copy of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, the book that Emily’s mother chose for her daughter before she was born, along with her name and destiny. Despite her mother’s wish that she be a poet, the sixth-grader clearly prefers writing romance stories, complete with happy endings. Still, at home, at school, and on the hunt for the treasured book, poetry is often a topic of conversation or reflection. Fate and chance have a role in Emily’s story, but she increasingly takes the lead and actively shapes her future. Emily’s engaging first-person narrative chronicles her daily life, her wonderfully quirky family, her musings on fate, her growing sense of self, and her one-way correspondence with her favorite writer, Danielle Steel. The book’s idyllically happy ending may have its critics, but most young readers will find it entirely satisfying. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2013 Sixth-grader Emily Elizabeth Davis has serious questions about fate and destiny, as well as about her own parentage. Her hippie-esque mother, a poet and professor at Berkley, believes that fate hinges upon following little signs the universe gives and maintains the fates don’t want Emily to know who her real father is. Emily grows increasingly skeptical that one’s destiny is set in stone, and she rejects her mother’s version of the world by secretly looking for her dad and by deciding to become a romance writer, like her hero Danielle Steele, instead of the poet her mother hopes she’ll be. Emily’s exploration of fate is intriguingly presented, and a happy ending comes about through both Emily’s choices and pure luck, leaving readers with the pleasantly paradoxical idea that fate is both beyond and within one’s control. Her mother’s coy silence makes Emily’s decision to grab the reins of her own destiny entirely plausible, and Emily is a strong and likable heroine. The Berkeley setting (complete with literal tree-huggers) is credibly evoked, and secondary characters, particularly Mortie, Emily’s younger, military-obsessed cousin (who is actually quite helpful in her quest to find her father), are engagingly depicted as well. This would possibly make a good pairing with the film Brave for a duo of stories about girls trying to discern the boundaries of fate. JH - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2013 Gr 5–7—Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis's flighty mother reveals that Emily's rare volume of Emily Dickinson's poetry not only embodies her destiny to become a great poet, but also contains the name of Emily's unknown father scribbled somewhere in the margins. Unfortunately, Emily loses the book. Thus begins the plucky girl's search through Berkeley to find the lost collection, a series of adventures that force her to examine her beliefs about destiny, romance, and self-determination. Fitzmaurice creates a believable and relatable protagonist, but also develops funny secondary characters-including tree-dwelling environmentalists; a military-obsessed younger cousin; a faithful and smart best friend; and, of course, her scatter-brained, English professor mother. A clean, safe, child-friendly version of Berkeley features prominently. Fitzmaurice finds ways for Emily to evaluate different attitudes about fate through the many pages of this long book, especially via clever discussions about and references to Laura Ingalls Wilder, Danielle Steel, Star Wars, and many other cultural or literary elements. A sweet book that should appeal to fans of Wendy Mass, Joan Bauer, Sharon Creech, and the like.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.