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Giff, Patricia Reilly.
New York :Delacorte Press,  2001
IL 3-6, RL 5.0
ISBN 038590021X

3 booktalks

Booktalk #1

During the summer of 1941, two brave and caring children meet and share a great adventure.  Mariel, a polio victim, lives in Brooklyn with her adopted mom, Loretta.  Loretta nursed Mariel in the Windy Hill Hospital when she was four and adopted her when her family never returned to claim her.  Mariel has learned to live with the prejudice and fear people show toward her as a cripple.  Some people even think she might infect them, and therefore it requires courage every time she leaves the safety of her home.
Brick is sent to live with Mariel and Loretta after fire destroys his family's Windy Hill orchard and farm.  After a rough start, Mariel and Brick learn to trust each other and embark on a journey to their shared home, Windy Hill.  Their stories mingle in such a wonderful way and the conclusion to their adventure of discovery is very satisfying.  To find out how these delightful characters resolve their conflicts, you really have to read this book!
Prepared by:  Marcia Russo for South Carolina Children's Book Award

Booktalk #2

The time is 1941. Eleven-year-old Mariel, orphaned when she developed polio, is now living in Brooklyn (close to the Dodgers) with the nurse, Loretta, who adopted her at the hospital in Windy Hill, NY. She still has vague memories of her trip to the hospital, and of her mother. She loves Loretta but really want to discover her roots. Brick's family have been farmers in Windy Hill and is sent to Loretta by his parents after a tragic fire burns their orchard. Neither of these children want to be in Brooklyn. Read this book and find out if they learn of their pasts, how they deal with their mutual present, and what their aims are for their own personal futures.  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2003-2004)

Booktalk #3

It's 1941 and Brick's family is settled on their "forever farm" raising apples and other crops in Windy Hill, New York.  Then a devastating fire kills their young trees, and Brick's parents are going to have to leave the farm and go to a city where they can find other work.  Worse, they're sending him to live with a friend of his mother's in Brooklyn until things get better. Brick is heartbroken to leave the farm and to be separated from his parents, and he worries constantly about how the old couple on the next farm will harvest their apples without the help of his family.  Brooklyn turns out to be okay.  He gets to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play baseball.  Loretta is nice, and her adopted daughter Mariel becomes a friend.  Mariel also has ties to Windy Hill; she recovered from polio in a hospital there, and it's where Loretta found her and became her mother.  But Mariel still has questions about that time.  Who was her real mother?  What happened that she left Mariel in the hospital there and didn't come back?  Together, Brick and Mariel hatch a plan to return to Windy Hill, hoping to answer Mariel's questions and help Claude and Julia with the apple harvest at the same time.  Will they be able to go…All the Way Home?  (Mary Lou Wallace,, East Aiken Elementary School)

SUBJECTS:     Poliomyelitis -- Fiction.
                        Apples -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Self-acceptance -- Fiction.
                        Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.


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