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Spinelli, Jerry.


New York : Knopf, 1998

IL 5-8, RL 5.4

SBN 0679887911
(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews

Booktalk #1

This is a delightful trip through Jerry Spinelli's childhood.  You go back to the 1940's and 50's as Jerry and his friends roam the neighborhoods of Norristown, Pennsylvania.  Great adventure is to be had, but there are quiet reflective moments, too.   Readers familiar with his books, especially Maniac Magee, will see what influenced him to create his memorable characters.    Read this book to see how children grew up in this area in the mid-twentieth century, and to understand how an author's childhood can influence his future writing.  (Jeannie Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards)

Booktalk #2

During an author visit, award winning author Jerry Spinelli was asked if he felt that being a kid helped him become a writer.  This memoir is his attempt to answer that question.  Growing up in Norristown, PA during the 1940s and 1950s, we get to know what life was like for Jerry.  He loved comic books and cereal boxes but seldom read books.  He shares moments of triumph and defeat.  He was a decent athlete in junior high but lost out to more talented boys in high school.  He was a good student and was named valedictorian of his junior high.  High school found him becoming an average student.  He was a neat child and prided himself on his penmanship and on never coloring outside the lines.  His first poem resulted in his parents making a visit to the school and being accused of plagiarism.  Find out more about Jerry Spinelliís hope and dreams while he was growing up.

SUBJECTS:   Norristown (Pa.) -- Social life and customs.
Spinelli, Jerry -- Childhood and youth.
Authors, American.
Italian Americans.

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