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|Blossoming universe of Violet Diamond|
Author: Woods, Brenda
A biracial girl finally gets the chance to meet the African American side of her family.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 163322
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 62389
Common Core Standards
Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Key Ideas & Details
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/13)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/14)
The Hornbook (00/07/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2013 Eleven-year-old Violet Diamond feels as though she doesn’t belong—she’s a brown leaf on a pile of white snow. A biracial child, she never knew her father, who died before she was born. Violet is tired of the strange looks from people who don’t understand her background, so she researches her family on her father’s side and learns that her artist grandmother will be visiting Seattle. Violet jumps at the chance to meet her and soon feels belonging and acceptance as she gains answers about the dad she never knew, thereby giving her a far more confident sense of self. Woods’ novel has a lot of heart, and Violet is someone many readers will relate to. Side characters, too, are well developed, and while Violet’s reconciliation with her long-lost grandmother comes a bit too easily, Violet’s warm journey of self-discovery is realistic. A sweet, heartfelt tale. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2014 Eleven-year-old Violet doesn’t look like her mother or her sister; they both look white, while she resembles her black father, who died in a traffic accident before she was born, and whose parents are estranged from Violet and her family. Discovering that her grandmother is showing her art at a nearby Seattle gallery, Violet decides it’s time she met her father’s mother. The surprise encounter is rocky at first, but her new Bibi quickly thaws and asks if Violet can come stay with her in Los Angeles for a week. It’s a momentous week for Violet, as gaps in her understanding of herself get filled and her heart warms to her grandmother. When tragedy strikes, Violet becomes even more important to Bibi, and it’s clear that Violet’s world and her sense of self have expanded. Violet is a winning protagonist, full of questions and full of hope. She’s believably complex: though eager to have adventures with her grandmother and meet her father’s people, she finds herself homesick as well, and she has no intention of leaving behind the people who have loved and supported her all her life just to explore this side of her family. She is angry when she finds out that it was a careless moment in her mother’s driving that cost her her father, but she also knows that it hurt her mother as much as it hurt her, and she realizes that loving the people you have is more important than lamenting the ones she’s lost. Her self-conscious reflections enable readers to parse the symbolism behind her name and see how her experiences are helping her grow into a person who fits it-a sometimes shy, sometimes sparkly and strong person to whom many readers will relate. KC - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 Gr 4–6—Violet Diamond's father died in a car accident two months before her birth, and the 11-year-old has always felt that a piece of her was missing. As the daughter of an African American father and Caucasian mother, she is frustrated with narrow racial assumptions directed at her by those living in her predominantly white neighborhood in Seattle. After eavesdropping on an eye-opening family conversation, Violet digs around and finds out that Roxanne Diamond, the estranged paternal grandmother she's never met, is having an art exhibition in Seattle, and the resourceful tween vows to meet her. Complex family history renders their first meeting awkward and tense, but Roxanne genuinely wants to be involved in her granddaughter's life. Violet travels with her grandmother to Los Angeles to meet her father's relatives and better understand her African American heritage. Violet's charming quirks, which include nighttime wishing rituals and keeping a mental catalogue of sophisticated vocabulary words, prove endearing. In this quiet story, Woods's admirably touches upon profound issues related to identity and race and tenderly conveys intergenerational bonds.—Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.