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|Another day as Emily|
Author: Spinelli, Eileen
Susie is jealous when her brother is deemed a town hero, so she finds solace in the poetry and reclusive lifestyle of Emily Dickinson.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.20
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 166354
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/14)
School Library Journal (05/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/14)
The Hornbook (00/05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2014 Gr 4–6—After her five-year-old brother has been labeled "a little hero" for making a lifesaving 911 call, Suzy struggles to find relevance in her own life. Bad luck is coloring her whole summer, and she responds by emulating the day-to-day life of Emily Dickinson, whom she has been researching for her library project. The old tomboy Suzy loved baseball, riding her bike, and engaging in friendships with people of all ages and interests. As Emily, she wears only long white dresses, never leaves the house, and tries to find meaning in the domestic arts. Being Emily proves to be more challenging than Suzy ever imagined, and eventually she's not sure how to start being herself again. Spinelli sensitively explores the complexity of Suzy's feelings during a challenging time in her life. Middle-grade readers will relate to her familial frustrations, as well as her growing self-awareness and its impact on social dynamics. Spinelli's novel-in-verse approach creates a gentle, quiet atmosphere for this contemplative novel, though the verse is more successful in tone than as poetry. The condensed format makes it an excellent choice for reluctant readers.—Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2014 Eleven-year-old Suzy is proud of her little brother for calling 911 when their neighbor collapses. But after Parker gets a write-up in the paper, a citation, and a ride in the Fourth of July parade, Suzy is ready for everyone to move on already. Then Parker screws up Suzy’s birthday: he sees a TV story about a fire and people needing help, so he tries to find them, getting lost in the process. Parker is located, but too late for Suzy’s trip to a Phillies’ game. So she takes to her room, both literally and literarily; Suzy assumes the persona of recluse Emily Dickinson. Spinelli’s free-verse structure may make things easier for reluctant readers, but the breaks occasionally seem awkward. That said, kids, especially those who have had a sibling in the spotlight, will identify with Suzy’s feelings. Adventurous readers may want to pursue some of the same paths as Suzy: poetry, Dickinson, the 1800s, and baseball. There are also satisfying relationships between Suzy, her friends, and family. This is a short book where a whole lot happens. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2014 The summer that Suzy turns twelve starts off with a drama: her four-year-old brother is hailed as a hero after dialing 911 for an ailing neighbor. Hero boy Parker becomes the narrative that dominates Suzy’s household, even as she enjoys the summer program at the library, where she’s learning about Emily Dickinson, and gets increasingly interested in a nice boy. When Parker ends up wrecking Suzy’s birthday (Phillies-loving Suzy and her father were going to attend her first game ever when Parker goes temporarily missing), she’s had enough. She shuns the world, garbs herself in white dresses, and asks to be called Emily, all in the manner of the poet who inspires her-but is being Emily really the solution to her problems? In Spinelli’s lightly turned and accessible free verse sequence (each short poem has its own title and leads seamlessly into the next), Suzy’s voice is prosy and authentic with just enough insight to lend perspective (“One teeny-tiny coax/ and I might topple,” thinks an Emily-weary Suzy hoping to be encouraged to join a family outing). The book quietly layers factors on Suzy that make her vulnerability understandable, and it hits a nice note, not too serious (her father’s audible grumbling has a certain objective reality) but not dismissive, about her Emily phase. Spinelli continues to be a sympathetic chronicler of tween tribulations that don’t always rise to the level of trials, offering a rewarding experience for young readers not looking to leapfrog into YA. Final illustrations not seen. DS - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.