Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Levine, Gail Carson.
New Yoirk : HarperCollins, 1999.
IL 3-6  RL 4.0
ISBN 0060281545

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Hi! Iím Dave Caros. Its 1926 and October 26th was the worst day of my life. It all started when Papa died from falling off the roof of a house that he was helping to build. If I wasnít numb enough from that, my stepmother, Ida just informed me that she's giving me up. She just canít afford to feed and clothe me. Worse yet, no one else in the family wants me. My brother Gideon is going to live with Uncle Jack in Chicago. I begged to go with Uncle Jack, but I guess that Iím just too much of a troublemaker. So, I have no choice. Its off to the HHB, Hebrew Home for Boys, otherwise known as the Hell Hole for Brats. Things arenít all bad. Come meet Solly, my adopted fortune-telling grandfather, his parrot, Mrs. Parker, a vocalist from Harlem, her daughter, Irma Lee, and of course my "buds", the other 11 year olds from the HHB.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)

Booktalk #2

It is 1926. When his father dies, Dave Caros finds himself unwanted by his stepmother and all other family members. So Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys, an orphanage,  where he confronts evil in the forms of the hateful headmaster and bullies who steal food. He also finds goodness in the most unlikely forms: "buddies" who stick together as friends; an old man who tells fortunes; and wealthy social figures in the Harlem Renaissance. (He "hops the wall" at night to wander the streets of Harlem.) In the midst of sadness and hardship, Dave learns the true meaning of friendship. This story is based on the author's own father's true childhood, and is written with great heart, a poignant tale about a very energetic, self-sufficient boy.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)

SUBJECTS:     Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Jews -- New York (State) -- New York -- Fiction.
                        Harlem Renaissance -- Fiction.
                        African Americans -- New York (State) -- New York -- Fiction.
                        New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction.


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