Monday, February 13, 2012

Calli Be Gold

Booklist (March 15, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 14))

Grades 4-6. Calli Gold hasn’t yet found what her father calls her passion. Her brother is a star basketball player, and her sister attends endless skate-team practices, but Calli is less worried about this void than her parents are. A wise 11-year-old, she also perceives that her sister isn’t happy on the ice and that her father is overly involved in her brother’s games. Hurwitz’s engaging debut charts how Calli makes her family see an alternative to the rush-rush lifestyle they lead. The author has created an appealing narrator, who’s quiet, observant, and stuck in a family of louds. Calli quotes the exasperating things her parents say as they prod her through the family’s busy schedule and promote her involvement in one area or another. At the same time, she is drawn to help a second-grade boy who needs a good friend. Hurwitz nicely conveys the sense that it’s OK for reserved Calli to be loud sometimes—with outbursts that she didn’t plan and behavior she didn’t expect—and that families can be enriched by their younger members’ ideas.

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