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|Sisters of glass|
Author: Hemphill, Stephanie
When a new glassblower arrives to help in the family business, the attraction Maria feels for him causes a web of conflicting emotions to grow even more tangled.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 150870
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 6.30
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 58009
Common Core Standards
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 7 → Reading → RL Literature → 7.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Craft & Structure
Kirkus Reviews (03/15/12)
School Library Journal (00/05/12)
Booklist (+) (04/15/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/04/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 04/01/2012 The Barovier family is struggling to uphold their legacy of making fine glass in fifteenth-century Murano, Italy, but they are badly in need of an infusion of cash to keep both furnaces working. Maria, the younger of two daughters, is the key to the family’s fortune, since her late father had stipulated that she was to marry a senator. After rejecting a series of suitors, Maria resigns herself to the much older but kindly Signore Bembo as a likely match, and plans are underway for the formal betrothal. Maria’s sister, Giovanna, seems uncharacteristically temperamental about the nuptial plans (she actually wants Bembo for herself), and Maria is hesitant to make a final commitment because she is obsessed with the master glass blower, Luca, whom the family has recently hired. Oh, dear. Will the lovers all sort themselves out properly? Will Bembo/Giovanna and Luca/Maria live happily ever after? Yes, and with surprisingly little effort or drama. Although the free-verse poetry lends an extra dash of romance to the bare-bones plotting, the Barovier girls’ plight has none of the dark intrigue one might expect of a Venetian costume drama, nor the sparkle of a Shakespearean style comedy of switched lovers. Still, the period details of glassmaking and courtship may make this a pleasant divertimento for diehard historical fiction readers. EB - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 04/15/2012 *Starred Review* A romantic tale of destiny, fidelity, and true love is perfectly placed in fourteenth-century Murano, Italy (of glassmaking renown) and just as judiciously told through verse. Giovanna and Maria are daughters of a brilliant glassmaker. Just before his death, he declares that younger daughter Maria, who was born the week he made a tremendous discovery, is to marry a nobleman. Vanna, the older and more marriageable both by tradition and nature, retreats from her warm relationship with Maria into bitterness and anger. Maria is disdainful of her training to be a society woman and yearns instead to spend her time with her art or in the family’s furnaces with Luca, an employee whose skill with glass is the marvel that leads Maria, who once aspired to be a glassblower, to fall in love with him. How the sisters navigate their divide, reconcile, and begin to work with each other to create livable futures from the hands they have been dealt outshines their respective love stories without minimizing them. Though the verse is anything but sparse, nothing is wasted in the telling of this lyrical tale. In a landscape, time, and plot rich with descriptive opportunity, Hemphill’s verse selects and illuminates the best bits, intensifying them like light through glass. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2012 Gr 7–10—In 15th-century Italy, girls have few options beyond following the path laid out for them by society and their families. As Maria, the younger daughter of a Murano glassblowing family, inches closer to marrying age, 15, she begins to realize the implications of her father's dying wish that she, and not her sister, Giovanna, should marry a nobleman. Maria feels ill-suited to such a life, and beautiful, refined Giovanna would gladly fill her shoes. When Luca, a young glassblower, is hired to help ease the family's workload, Maria finds her attention wandering his way, and her plight grows more desperate, and she must determine whether she can control her own destiny. The tale's verse format makes for a quick read, in many ways a plus, though there are some parts of the plot that lack dramatic tension, such as the relationship between Maria and Luca. Further, while beautifully written, the free verse doesn't showcase Hemphill's stylistic capabilities, as did Your Own, Sylvia (Knopf, 2007). Still, fans of historical romance fiction, especially those who enjoyed Mary Jane Beaufrand's Primavera (Little Brown, 2008), will welcome this tale and its happy ending.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.