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4.9 23
by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

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A powerful, radiant story about a girl who wears her dreams on her sleeve . . . Aislinn is a girl with a lot of dreams, but due to family issues (caused mostly by her hard-drinking father), there's a lot standing in her way. While she should be enjoying the summer with friends, Aislinn is kept under lock and key and put in charge of her younger siblings. The average


A powerful, radiant story about a girl who wears her dreams on her sleeve . . . Aislinn is a girl with a lot of dreams, but due to family issues (caused mostly by her hard-drinking father), there's a lot standing in her way. While she should be enjoying the summer with friends, Aislinn is kept under lock and key and put in charge of her younger siblings. The average girl might give up, but not Aislinn. A person, she says, should write their dreams on their sleeve, putting them out there for the world to see, because there's a good chance that someone might come along and help you make your dream come true. What begins as a plea for help for her father to stop drinking, turns into a spark that has the whole community making their own dreamsleeves. At times heartbreaking, DREAMSLEEVES is also surprising, powerful, and luminously hopeful. Everyone will see a little of themselves in Aislinn, a girl with talent, ambition, and big dreams.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—If the producers of The Secret teamed up with members of Al-Anon to create a didactic novel for preteens, Dreamsleeves might be the result. Set during the Vietnam War era, the story recounts 12-year-old Aislinn's frustration with her alcoholic father. There are blissful moments in her life—tea with her grandmother, perfect grilled-cheese sandwiches, and a kiss from her crush Mike Mancinello—but they are tempered by the ever-present rage that lurks within her father. As Aislinn attempts to avert his cruelty, she ponders her name (which means "dream" in old Irish). She decides to write her dreams on sticky name tags and attach them to her sleeve. In this way, she believes, everyone can help to make her dreams come true. The plan works several times. She gets a new bathing suit, her brother gets tickets to a ball game, and she bumps into Mike. The Law of Attraction seems to turn her life around. Desperately, she makes the wish for her dad to stop drinking and boldly wears this wish to church. What she finds is what every person involved with an alcoholic knows—dreams cannot stop a drinker. The period might not grab everyone (references to old songs, limbo, and purgatory) and some of the dialogue is stiff, but the emotions are universal. Aislinn is helpless while watching alcoholism destroy her family. The push for Al-Anon in the end is slightly heavy, but perhaps school psychologists or social workers might use Dreamsleeves successfully.—Pamela Schembri, Newburgh Enlarged City Schools, NY
Publishers Weekly
The summer before eighth grade is proving difficult for 12-year-old Aislinn O’Neill. When her Nana leaves town for a few months, her father’s drinking and physical and emotional abuse escalate, and Aislinn fears he’ll never buy the family’s promised dream house (“the one with the stream and the apple trees”). Her mother is pregnant with a sixth child, her uncles are serving in Vietnam, and Aislinn worries both that a boy named Mike Mancinello will never ask her out and that she’s losing her best friend. Yet Aislinn’s optimism, her Peely-Stick Shop (a blissfully isolated fort in the woods), and her “wide-awake dreams” keep her afloat and offer escape while she cares for her younger siblings. Adding to an overall uplifting atmosphere, Paratore (the Wedding Planner’s Daughter series) begins each chapter with inspirational quotes from various writers, and she creates a believable home environment for her heroine. Aislinn is sympathetic, selfless, and strong, and her intimate narration carries this story about the difference between hoping for change and making it happen. Ages 10–14. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
A (short for Aislinn) O'Neill has a dream and this is the story of how she makes her dream come true. It is also a story of how her friends and her Irish Catholic family find their dreams, too. At least, a few of their dreams come true. It's a simpler time—no Internet, no cell phones, just childhood in the late 1960s, when the highlight of the week was going for a drive in the country. A is the oldest of five children and instead of spending her summer vacation lounging poolside in the company of other eighth graders, she has to babysit her siblings while both parents work. During the summer, A's mother announces they are expecting baby number six, despite the financial constraints and a doctor's warning not to have more children. Gone is the hope of moving to a larger house in the country with a large grassy field. That's a family dream. A's dreams are many. She wants her father to stop drinking and to be nice all the time. She wants to go to a fancy pool party. She wants Mike to like her. She wants her best friend back. Taking a cue from her father's welcome stickers, she ingeniously writes her dream on the sticker and adheres it to her sleeve. Find out how and if the dreams come true, as she shares this practice with others. Even the local priest is part of the novelty. Well-developed characters make Paratore's novel seem real, and readers will find themselves caught up in the drama that is part of being a family in Vietnam War era America. Aislinn's innocence along with her dream for a better life resonates with us all, and leaves us with a desire to know the next chapter in her life. Are you listening Coleen Paratore? We are ready for the sequel, and of course, "Baby F." Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
VOYA - Mark Flowers
It is the summer before eighth grade, and Aislann has to spend every day babysitting her four younger siblings (with another on the way). Her father, whose drinking is getting steadily worse, forbids her to talk to a boy, let alone date, and barely even lets her out of the house. Desperate for freedom, she invents dreamsleeves: instead of holding her dreams inside, she begins writing them down and wearing them on her sleeve. Incredibly, the idea begins to work and even spread through the community. But of course, some dreams cannot come true no matter how many people know about them. The late-1960s setting; the drunk, abusive father; and the almost miraculous turns of fortune recall Schmidt's Okay for Now (Clarion, 2011/VOYA June 2011), and readers of that novel will find much to like here. Unfortunately, Paratore has none of Schmidt's subtlety or mastery of tone. The novel's climax, a pool party Aislann attends against her father's wishes, is surely an important moment, but it leaves a number of critical events strangely squashed into what essentially amounts to an epilogue. Most critically, the dreamsleeves concept itself seems strangely half baked: it comes too late in the novel and with too little thought as to why and how it works. Reviewer: Mark Flowers
Kirkus Reviews
This inspirational story set in the 1960s will resonate with a wide range of readers. Aislinn O'Neill is expecting big things in the summer before her eighth-grade year. She dreams that her father will quit drinking, that her family will finally own their own home and that a boy named Mike Mancinello will like her. Tall orders all. And it's not like she gets to devote all of her time to seeing them come true. Aislinn, or A for short, is in charge of her four younger siblings--B, C, D and E--while her parents are at work. Even when her parents are home, she is expected to help with household duties and is forbidden from socializing with her peers by her overprotective, controlling, alcoholic father. Aislinn never loses hope, however, and finally she hits upon an idea that just might work. Everyone needs help to make dreams come true, she reasons, and how can others help if people's dreams are tucked too deeply inside their hearts to ever be seen by anyone else? Aislinn grabs a label, prints a wish on it, sticks it right on her sleeve and starts a mini-revolution. While a few passages lean precariously toward the polemical and the resolutions are pretty quick and tidy, readers will be too squarely in A's court to care. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
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Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
879 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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Meet the Author

Coleen Murtagh Paratore is the author of the popular THE WEDDING PLANNER'S DAUGHTER series, which includes most recently, FORGET ME NOT, WISH I MIGHT, and FROM WILLA, WITH LOVE. She is also the author of SUNNY HOLIDAY and SWEET AND SUNNY. The mother of three teenage sons, she lives in upstate New York and on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Visit Coleen online at www.coleenparatore.com.

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Dreamsleeves 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
WishStealer More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing. More people need to know about this book. The author is simply perfect, and the plot is realistic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. It was kind of shocking but i thought it was fantastic! Teaches us girls to follow our dreams....so what is ur dream? Feel free to respond.... Em:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!! It showed that even in hard times you should follow your dreams and try to do something to make things better!! I recommend this wonderfull book to everyone!!!! : )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is so good. If you are looking for a good book get dreamsleeves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing story it was a page turner to my suprise and i enjoyed it i wrote a book report on it for my english class
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favoerite books ... if you are interesed in learning how girls live there life this is a book for you
sguice More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in a long, long time. It should win the Newbery Award! Dreamsleeves is unforgettable! I love the idea of wearing your dreams on your sleeves because you just never know how might help you achieve them.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
Could you run a house at age twelve? Aislinn has recently finished the seventh grade and is home for the summer taking care of her four younger siblings while her parents work full time jobs. Capable of caring for her young siblings and running the house, Aislinn is very mature. She understands that her father is an alcoholic. When drunk, he becomes abusive to her, the younger children, and her mother who struggles to defend them. As a result of her father’s drinking, the family lives with her father’s mother and her father issues unreasonable commands. Aislinn is not allowed to leave the yard, talk to boys, or go to other people’s houses. Recently, Aislinn’s father has been drinking more and more. Bills are beginning to go unpaid and he is becoming more and more abusive. In an attempt to get help for her family, Aislinn creates Dreamsleeves. By writing her wishes on a sticky note and wearing them on her shirt sleeves, people cannot ignore her hopes. Aislinn is a great character who could be described using all the adjectives of a noble heroine. She protects her siblings, confronts her fears, and inspires others. Paratore conveys all Aislinn’s worries and qualms in such a way that Aislinn seems to become real. The reader wants to meet the brave girl whose thoughts they read. This author does an excellent job telling the reader Aislinn’s story. Dreamsleeves seems appropriate for any female reader older than age twelve. Aislinn motivates her readers to achieve their dreams. Dreamsleeves receives five stars; it is a great book everyone should read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dreamsleeves is the best!!! I actually started using it and it totally works! Read the book and then use dreamsleeves yourself! You wont regret it!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I treid dreamsleeves and it woorked i used it on my dad and he gave me 100 dollars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author of this book came to my school and she told us that some events in this book are based onvher life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the beat book i have read in the year of 2013 and thats saying a lot since i read a lot of grate books.:) ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a very good book. I usually don't like realistic fiction but this was wonderfully written! I love to read but am very picky. I definitely recommend!!!! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how Aislinn didn't give up and she's really hardworking since she takes care of B,C,D, and E. This is a really good read and good for ages 10- 13 . And it's a relly good idea - dream sleeves.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, this book is one of the best books I have ever read...seriously. You can FEEL the connection with Aisleen and the pain she goes through. She is an utterly amazing character. She reminds me of me - a 13 year old girl going through hardships, which I love because she gives me hope. The dreamsleeves idea is AMAZING. Seriously, you need to try it - I just love the idea. Please read it, you will be satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book so much I can sort of relate to her not having a reliable dad so amazing not going to spoil any thing read it for your self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was sad to know that her dad has a drinking problem and how her dad won't let her leave the lawn except for going out to the store. I think it is really sad to know that Asnill has to babysit her brothers and sisters amd never had fun that a 12 year olds have to have. But overall it was a great novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this dang book now!!! If you dont i will get veryangry! You dont want that :( :/ :|
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An interesting book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oooo baby my goodness o get it in there good, ooohhh ahhhhhh right there, rim ir babay do that rim job ooooo mm lemme suck that ohhhhh lord aweee Mmmm feels amazing love it