Looking For Me … in this great big family
by Betsy R. Rosenthal
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012
J Fiction ages 9 – 12
On the first day of school Edith’s sixth grade teacher, Miss Connelly, tells the class to write a poem about their families. Edith’s poem was really, really long because she was the fourth child in a family of twelve children. Edith manages to include everyone but herself. When questioned by Miss Connelly, she blurts out, “I don’t know who I am in my big family.” The rest of the book is a chronicle in poems that shows how Edith finds her place. In some of the poems she describes feeling unloved and invisible, especially by her father who knows how to punish but forgets her birthdays. In spite of the never ending hand-me-down clothes and sharing a bed with two sisters, Edith’s despair turns to hope when Miss Connelly tells her that she is smart, smart enough to be the first girl in her family to attend college. Though Edith’s circumstances are very different from most girls living in Westchester County, her love of family and her battles against the odds are testaments to the human spirit to overcome life’s difficulties.
Reviewer: Lillian Hecker (PEL)