While I was reading Looking For Me by Betsy Rosenthal today several teachers commented on how good this book looked. If covers are any indication of a book's excellence, this one would get five stars.
Even better then that this book was totally enjoyable. Rosenthal's novel in verse covers life in the mid 1930s as Edith and her large family (12 children in all) grow up. Edith is the fourth in her family of twelve, looking for her place in life. She can quickly identify her siblings - her three brothers that hang out together, her baby sister, an older sister who doesn't ever stop playing- but Edith isn't quite sure who she is yet. However, she is aware of how their clothes are always hand me downs -as are their shoes, how there are too many people in the family to be invited somewhere for supper, and how they must sleep three to a bed. Times are tough, and the fact that they are Jewish further sets them apart.
Rosenthal bases this book on her own mother's childhood growing up in a large family. She has listened to the many stories of her aunts and uncles and her mother and managed to transform them into this amazing story. This is a fast read- I began this afternoon and finished just after supper. Students will easily relate to Edith and the stories of her youth. The text is easily accessible making it a perfect read for elementary students.
I'm adding this one to my school library's collection as soon as it comes out in April.