Rummanah Aasi
  Moving can be a significant event in a child's life. I remember when I moved from Chicago to the Chicagoland suburb back in 1996. I lived in the city for 13 years and my life was deeply city rooted. Moving to a suburb was very much like a cultural shock and starting out from scratch. I went from being known in my neighborhood to the 'new' girl who knew practically no one. I could relate to Diana's anxiety and sadness of leaving her home in Eileen Spinelli's novel in verse book entitled Where I Live.

Description: In a series of poems, Diana writes about her life before and after she and her family moves far away to live with her Grandpa Joe. 

Review: Where I Live is a sweet and quick read. The book is told from Diana's perspective in a series of free-verse poems that describe her emotional journey of being forced to move. Diana loves where she lives. She has a house with white shutters, a maple tree she planted in the front yard, and a midnight-blue bedroom that she and her best friend Rose painted. Everything changes when her father loses his job and the family must move across the state to Grandpa Joe's. The move means leaving behind Rose, the maple tree and the poetry workshop she'd competed for a spot in all behind.
  In Spinelli's short poems, Diana's voice is effective and perfectly yet at times too idyllically describes the perfect life of a junior high kid who is too precocious for her age. It was nice to see Diana grow emotionally as she adjusts to her new home, meeting  new friends, and writes poetry to write how she feels, however, I think the adjustments were a bit abrupt. As Diana gains a friend named Sam, her best friend Rose (who I really liked) was dropped out of the picture. I wish we got to see how and if Diana connects with her old friends.
 The drawing by Phelan match the poems in brevity and sensitivity. Children, who may not grasp Diana's emotions can use the drawings as inferences and follow along the story quite well. All in all, a pretty good children's book that portrays a common event in childhood.

Rating: 3 stars


Words of Caution: None. I would recommend this book for grades 1 to 3.


If you like this book try: Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

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