Bethany's Readers' Advisory

The place to go for readers' advisory on books for children, teens, and adults

So B. It by Sarah Weeks December 3, 2010

Soof.  Out of the 23 words Heidi’s mama could say, soof was the most perplexing, the word that inspired Heidi’s journey.  It all started when Bernadette opened her door one February day to find a woman in a raincoat holding a baby.   The mentally handicapped woman’s name, according to her, was So B. It.  Her baby was Heidi.  Soon Bernadette, So B. It, and Heidi were one happy family.  Because Bernadette was agoraphobic, Heidi and Mama were the only ones to go outside of the apartment.  Despite a safe, comfortable life, Heidi cannot stop wondering about soof.  When she finds some old pictures of her mother, she knows she can’t live her life without knowing where she came from.  Once she gets the answers to her questions, she realizes life will never quite be the same again.

So B. It was a sweet and gentle story about a girl’s quest to find out who she is, even if it means leaving the sanctuary of the only family she’s ever known.  While somewhat unrealistic in parts, overall it is an enjoyable read for upper elementary students to adults.

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Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli November 18, 2010

The second book in a series about Stargirl Caraway, Love, Stargirl is the world’s longest letter to Stargirl’s former (and maybe future?) boyfriend, Leo.  Stargirl tells Leo about everything in her new home- finding a field to watch the sun rise, meditating on picnic tables in the park, hanging out with her five-year-old best friend, Dootsie, and her agoraphobic neighbor, Betty Lou, developing a small crush on the town Romeo, Perry, becoming a mentor for tomboy, Alvina, and eating donuts at Margie’s shop.  What Stargirl doesn’t realize is although she can’t reach her beloved Leo, she reaches many others along the way.

Love, Stargirl was both quirky and endearing.  I found Stargirl’s homeschool experience to be unrealistic (writing poems about her adventures is the extent of her schooling), but the characters in the story were likable and well-rounded.

Spinelli uses the epistolary format well; Stargirl’s thoughts are intermixed with dialogue and plot.  Not every moment is accounted for; after a gap in time, Stargirl will often reflect on what happened during that time.  Overall, a good read.

 

 
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