Brooklyn Doesn't Rhyme

Overview

"Knowing about your family will help you to know yourself."

That's what Miss Edgecomb, Rosey Sachs's sixth grade teacher, says when she asks her students to write stories about their families. But, Rosey wonders, what can possibly be interesting about her immigrant parents, her small Brooklyn house, and the everyday lives of her friends and relatives in New York in the early twentieth century?

Then Rosey starts remembering things she hasn't thought about since they happened, and...

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Overview

"Knowing about your family will help you to know yourself."

That's what Miss Edgecomb, Rosey Sachs's sixth grade teacher, says when she asks her students to write stories about their families. But, Rosey wonders, what can possibly be interesting about her immigrant parents, her small Brooklyn house, and the everyday lives of her friends and relatives in New York in the early twentieth century?

Then Rosey starts remembering things she hasn't thought about since they happened, and she realizes she does have stories to tell: about Momma and Papa, about her big brother Arnold and her baby sister Sadie, about her uncles and aunt and cousins, and about Itzy Carnitzky, Arnold's best friend, who might just turn out to be Rosey's friend as well. And Rosey discovers that Miss Edgecomb was right.

At the request of her sixth grade teacher, Edwina Rose Sachs records events in the lives of her Polish immigrant family and their friends living in Brooklyn in the early 1900s.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Rosey is growing up in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. Her parents are Jewish immigrants from Poland. Rosey's teacher is Miss Edgecomb and her students love her. Miss Edgecomb encourages her students to write about their lives so they will learn self-respect. Rosey has a hard time thinking of anything to write about. But with Miss Edgecomb's encouragement, she begins to look at her friends and relatives and finds lots of good stories to tell. She writes about her Uncle Benny and how he met his wife. She writes about Bogdana and her son who came to live with them while her husband is getting settled in Chicago. She remembers and writes about the candy she bought for her baby sister the day she was born, and ate herself. Lives were not easy, but were filled with loving family and friends and concern for the relatives still in Poland. Rosey's family was poor, but what they had they shared. The kids made balls out of rubber bands and used sticks for bats. Warmly written, this is a good way to learn about life in America one hundred years ago. 2000, Aladdin Paperbacks, $4.50. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Kristin Harris
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Rosey Sachs's beloved sixth-grade teacher believes that a way to gain self-knowlege and respect is to write about oneself. So, Rosey embarks on a narrative about who she is (poetry won't work because ``Brooklyn doesn't rhyme''), relating, almost journal style, stories of her Jewish-Polish-Austrian immigrant family and their friends and neighbors. Her descriptions of her life in the early 1900s are tender and, in the way of children raised in bygone times, naive, although she does touch on the enormous poverty of some of the people she knows. She also mentions how hard it must be for her parents, who left behind so many loved ones. Moving to a new house, the marriage of a favorite uncle, helping to reunite a newly emigrated woman with her husband, getting used to having a telephone, and working towards equal rights for workers and women are all discussed. Knitting together the strands of her tale is the love Rosey's family has for one another and a strong sense of community. However, time does not run through the book in a strictly linear fashion, making it a bit difficult to keep certain facts straight. Still, this gentle remembrance will make a fine read-aloud.-Sharon Grover, Arlington County Department of Libraries, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689835575
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/1/2000
  • Edition description: FIRST ALADDIN
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 0.28 (d)

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