|Oscar's American dream|
Author: Wittenstein, Barry
In 1899, an immigrant named Oscar opens a barbershop and a century later, after becoming a lady's clothing store, soup kitchen, bodega, and more, the building is torn down but Oscar's legacy remains. Includes historical notes.
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/20)
School Library Journal (10/01/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2020 Gr 1–4—The store at the corner of Front Street and 2nd Avenue takes center stage in a book that brings readers along through 100 years of history against the background of just one building. It all begins with Oskar, an Ellis Island immigrant, who opens a barber shop there. When Oscar, now sporting an Americanized spelling of his first name, moves on to pursue another path, the building's use changes as well. Each passing chapter in American history is depicted through a change in the corner store's owners and their unique American dreams. The illustrations, pen and pencil drawings (hand drawn and digitally rendered) in muted tones, add depth to the story with detailed imagery that breaths life into the ever-changing corner store. The story line is reflective of a mostly Eurocentric American experience; until Moises, who is Puerto Rican, appears later in the text, the shop owners are all white. Supporting illustrations depict a higher degree of diversity in the population. VERDICT An interesting fictional lens through which to view history but an additional purchase for most school libraries.—Jessica Caron, Bancroft Sch., MA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.