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|Falcon in the glass|
Author: Fletcher, Susan
Eleven-year-old Renzo must teach himself to blow glass with the help of a girl who has a mysterious connection to her falcon.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 159914
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 3.80
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 60024
Kirkus Reviews (05/15/13)
School Library Journal (08/01/13)
The Hornbook (00/09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 07/01/2013 Desperate to pass the glassblower’s apprenticeship test and restore his family’s honor, Renzo hatches a dangerous plan. He partners with Letta, one of the newly arrived “bird children,” part of a homeless band with piercing green eyes and wild-bird companions. The children’s unusual bond with their birds invokes whispers of witchcraft, leading to imprisonment and threats of hanging. Renzo, caught between protecting his mother and younger sister or trying to save the lives of children he barely knows, struggles to define the meaning of family, responsibility, and loyalty. Set in 1497 Venice and Murano, Italy, the book's perspective shifts from Renzo to minor characters, allowing for complex motivations and unintended consequences to be reflected. Evocative prose captures the world of glassblowers, the cold damp of Venice, and the menacing power of Venice’s leaders. The compelling story line bogs down at times with Renzo’s engulfing self-doubt, but the end result is a well-constructed, intriguing novel. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2013 Gr 6–8—Renzo toils in a glass workshop in Italy in the late 1400s. He works ceaselessly to pass the glassmaker's tests and become an apprentice, an unlikely event given the scandal that colors his family's past. Studying nights, the teen desperately needs an assistant to succeed. When he meets Letta, a homeless waif, he secretly asks for her help. Letta has secrets, too. She is one of the "bird children," who seem to have mystical relationships with their avian companions. Letta strives to provide for other impoverished bird children, while Renzo cares only about his upcoming test. As Letta helps him with his glassmaking, he realizes that his self-centeredness hurts others. When his negligence causes Letta and her "family" to be imprisoned, he devises an ingenious plot to rescue them. Detailed descriptions of glassmaking and Venetian life will give readers a bird's-eye view of the culture. The author illuminates Renzo's character one scene at a time. With each adversity he faces, he learns about himself and can choose to act differently. Scenes alternate between the Venetian palace dungeon and Renzo's adventures. The sizable amount of factual information and Fletcher's reserved tone may appeal to a limited audience. However, for those who like historical fiction steeped in context, this is a solid selection.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.