Time's fun when you're having flies! Whoops, sorry--guess I've been
hanging out around the local frogs too much lately :) I meant to say,
Time flies when you're having fun! Here's this week's review.
Title: West to a Land of Plenty: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi
Author: Jim Murphy
Setting: New York to Idaho Territory, 1883
Target Audience: Middle School
Approximate Independent Reading Level: 8th
Summary: Teresa and her family are Italians living in New York with
several other Italian families on their street. "Poppa" has come home
and announced that they will be leaving their home in New York to go to
Idaho territory, where they will be able to get a large plot of land and
farm it. Also, they will not be looked down on as they are in New
York. Teresa is very upset about leaving her home and her friends, and
she writes in her diary at the suggestion of her teacher. Her younger
sister Antoinetta, who goes by Netta, also writes in the diary
sometimes. The trail is long and hard, with many sicknesses and
dangers. Several people decide not to continue or die along the way.
Teresa's (almost) daily story shows how the journey changes her and
Review: Another book in the "Dear America" series, this book is again
written in a diary format. Teresa's arguing with Netta is comparable to
the sibling rivalry in most families. Teresa uses a few Italian words,
but they are close enough to the American to be determined from
context. Different typesets are used to make it easy to determine
whether the writing is Teresa's diary entry or something else (Netta's
diary entry or a letter that Teresa pasted into the diary. I think the
book is well-written in Teresa's voice (and others when appropriate),
including spelling and grammatical errors. The use of historical
fiction makes this time period in America's interesting.
**** 4 stars
Happy reading, y'all!