Saturday, June 19, 2010

Take Me With You by Carolyn Marsden

This is a historical, multicultural novel, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. The plot revolves around the lives of Susanna and Pina, two girls without families who are being raised by nuns. They live in an Italian institution during one of the world wars; I'm assuming World War II. The greatest dream for all of the girls is to be adopted. Susanna discovers that she has a father, and he ends up visiting with her on several occasions. She has a conflict between the comfort of her "normal" life and the possibility that she might be taken to America by this stranger. Pina learns that she has a mother living nearby, but her situation is more complicated than Susanna's
This is not a novel everyone will enjoy. It's not full of action, and it centers around the thoughts and feelings of two young, Italian girls. I found it interesting, because the topic is not a common one. There are many books written about kids trying to find families, but few books deal with the orphans of war. Nina is especially desperate, even obsessed, to become adopted and will do almost anything to make it happen. I don't recall reading any other historical books with settings in Italy, so I learned a bit about that culture. There's a glossary in the back for Italian words used throughout the book.

Lexile level from 640

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