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|Every single second|
Author: Springstubb, Tricia
The timely story of twelve-year-old Nella, whose friend's brother kills an unarmed man in a shooting that impacts the community, the city, and the girls' relationship.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 182422
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 68972
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/16)
School Library Journal (05/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)
The Hornbook (00/05/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Nella has grown up in an insular Little Italy neighborhood of a large city. Her father is the caretaker of a cemetery across the street from her house. Nella has recently traded in her shy, lifelong best friend Angela for a cooler, shinier model, and she's sure her four younger brothers are complete barbarians and that her great-grandmother is impossible to please. All that is about to change. With her Catholic parochial school slated for closure, Nella will be forced into the wider community. A secret revealed about her father's past alters her feelings for him, and then her old friend Angela's brother, Anthony, accidentally shoots and kills an African American man seeking help after a late-night car crash. Nella has always adored Anthony, and the way he is portrayed by the news media enrages her. She is eventually forced to reexamine much of what she believes about her family, friends, neighbors, and God. Fluctuating in time between Nella's earliest school years and her seventh-grade present, this work raises questions about fate, faith, loyalty, and justice. The ghosts of the past—of racial tensions from decades before and consequences of mistakes made years ago—reverberate throughout the novel. Adult and child characters alike are shown as complex and conflicted. Overriding all is the notion that what occurs in a single second can change the course of events. Readers may find the constant swiveling in time to be disorienting, and frequent interruptions for observations by a statue in the cemetery serve little purpose. The focus is squarely on the protagonist and her struggle to understand how race and history play into the tragic events. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 05/15/2016 Nella Sabatini has grown up in her town’s Little Italy with a father who has a secret, too many younger brothers, and a best friend since kindergarten, Angela. But in Nella’s twelfth year, she learns that her dad went to jail for vehicular homicide when he was a teenager; a new girl takes the place of her best friend; and a boy seems to like her. In the most shocking turn of events, Angela’s beloved older brother, Anthony, shoots an African American man whom he thought was trying to break into a home. This sets communities against each other and makes Nella think—and rethink—what is important and how much control we have over our own lives. The narrative structure of then and now, with short chapters devoted to the musings of a statue, sometimes intrudes upon the story, but this is rich in complex issues that include caring for the elderly, the problems of friendship, and the role of God in everyday life. Lots of plates here, but Springstubb keeps them spinning to a satisfying end. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini knows that her Italian grandmother harbors a prejudice, rooted in decades-old racial strife, against the brown-skinned college students who live across the street and the black residents of the neighborhood that borders on Little Italy, but that is a minor embarrassment. Her more urgent difficulties stem from her father’s mysterious past, and the shame she feels for distancing herself from her former best friend, Angela, as the result of Angela’s family troubles. When Angela’s older brother, on whom Nella has always harbored a secret crush, kills a black man that he mistook for an intruder, racial tensions erupt, and Nella has to make some kind of sense of the situation. The several stories of the people in Nella’s life form richly interconnected layers that reflect on life and death, disappointment and forgiveness, sadness and hope (for instance, Angela’s father’s experiences in the Gulf War haunt the book) and help Nella to work toward empathy. The narrative alternates between Nella’s past and present, with interstitial observations in the voice of a statue keeping watch over the girls who seek privacy in the graveyard where he stands. Spot illustrations capture the soft sweetness of everyday life in Nella’s neighborhood; this is a warm, resonant reminder that forgiveness, care, and resolute kindness are at least part of the answer to the problem of life’s fragility. KC - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.