Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

( 58 )

Overview

Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today.

Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don't always get along, that's true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her interesting stories and family recipes. It's easier to remember ...

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Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

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Overview

Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today.

Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don't always get along, that's true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her interesting stories and family recipes. It's easier to remember what's important about love, life, and friendship while Granny Torrelli makes soup.

With the help of her wise old grandmother, twelve-year-old Rosie manages to work out some problems in her relationship with her best friend, Bailey, the boy next door.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Soup, pasta, and Granny Torrelli's wisdom are food for the soul in this hearteningly stirring, friendship-affirming novel from Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech. A sort of culinary Camp David filled with old-world charm, Granny Torrelli's kitchen is a delicious mix of cooking, storytelling, and understanding for 12-year-old Rosie and her visually impaired best friend, Bailey. After Rosie attempts to learn Braille in order to impress Bailey, bad feelings arise, and Bailey starts to focus more attention on a new girl who's moved into the neighborhood. Knowing the recipe for good friends, Granny Torrelli brings them together to cook zuppa and pasta, gently directing the preparation as she tells stories of yesteryear about jealous friends and forgiveness -- all of which bears a striking resemblance to Rosie and Bailey's situation. By the end, Rosie and Bailey understand each other better, and -- along with their two families and the new girl -- sit down for a jubilant meal made with hard work and lots of love.

Blending all the right ingredients for young and old readers alike, Creech's novel serves up a masterful array of emotion. The author's expert use of language is remarkable, with telling actions and understated phrases yielding powerful scenes that make Creech herself ever-present. This tasty morsel of a book is sure to leave readers' appetites whetted and their spirits strengthened. Matt Warner

The Washington Post
… Newbery Medal-winner Sharon Creech is responsible for this recipe, and everyone knows there's hardly a more seductive writer in the business. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
In a starred review, PW said, "A warm kitchen filled with inviting aromas sets the scene for this heartfelt novel celebrating friendship and family ties." Ages 8-12. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The way Sharon Creech writes about relationships is as spicy and comforting as a good pot of soup. In her newest novel, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, she uses two tasty main ingredients. The first is twelve-year-old Rosie. Rosie is concerned about her relationship with Bailey, a visually impaired boy with whom she's been friends since they were babies. Their birthdays are only a week apart and Rosie has always felt secure and comforted by their close friendship. "I pretended he was my brother, only he was better than a brother because I chose him and he chose me." But suddenly there are changes. Bailey's responses and her own surprise, confuse, and upset Rosie. It is obvious to readers that her insecurity, envy, confusion and self-consciousness are typical feelings adolescence stirs up. Most adolescents suffer in silence, but fortunate Rosie has a solution to her problems. Rosie has always cared for Bailey, but suddenly his need for independence and self-expression results in anger and withdrawal that hurts Rosie. Her confusion brings her to Granny Torrelli, the second special ingredient of Creech's book. Thank goodness for this loving Italian granny. She is always accessible and full of empathy. She offers instructive and entertaining stories from her own life and the wisdom of her views while preparing a big pot of soup, or mixing up pasta. Conversation happens more easily as Granny Torrelli and Rosie chop vegetables for zuppa! They fling these vegetables into the pot, and soon they simmer into "a good smell bubbling in the kitchen." It is only then that Granny Torrelli asks, "Okay Rose, what's going on with you?" She won't accept Rosie's typical teenage answer of,"Nothing's going on with me." Granny Torrelli is not fooled by Rosie's "smart head" and wonders again "what's making your eyes so inside-looking?" Mixing her charming Italian-flavored English with obvious caring, Granny Torrelli quickly gets to the heart of Rosie's problems. She listens attentively, offers parables from her own life, and then ladles out steaming soup. Her timing is perfect, whether she is adding ingredients, or leaving time for Rosie to sort herself out as she goes to the bathroom to "take a pause". Creech again triumphs at exposing the tender subtleties and delicacies of changing relationships through what she leaves unsaid. Granny Torrelli's stories are full of teaching, but both the wise elderly woman and the author leave room for the characters and the readers to draw their own conclusions. Readers will also find the form of the book pleasing, for Creech has organized this story into small delicious bites of short chapters with large margins. A sprinkling of illustrations by Chris Raschka adds zest. 2003, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Susie Wilde
KLIATT
Creech is the winner of the Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons, and she also wrote The Wanderer, a Newbery Honor winner. This short story tells a lot with few words. As Rosie and her grandmother make soup and pasta, Rosie tells her grandmother her troubles and grandmother shares stories about parallel troubles when she was a girl in Italy. Rosie is 12 years old and has lived in the same neighborhood most of her life. Her best friend is Bailey, who is blind; they have been close friends and playmates since they were tiny. Now their relationship is subtly changing, as is clear when a new girl moves in and is interested in befriending Bailey, an attractive boy. Rosie is jealous, but doesn't really want to admit she herself is interested in Bailey as a boyfriend, maybe. The fact that Bailey is blind has raised some tension between the friends over the years. Rosie, for instance, was envious when Bailey learned to read Braille, feeling left behind...so she learns it on her own and feels proud. Bailey's reaction is fierce: he first thinks she has cheated and actually is reading a "regular book"; then when the truth hits him, he says, "You think you're pretty smart, don't you, Rosie?"—and slams the door on her. Of course, what follows is a conversation between Rosie and Granny Torrelli, in which Granny confesses her stubbornness long ago with her best friend—and the two take soup next door to Bailey and his mother and Bailey apologizes to Rosie. Rosie remembers another time when she was younger and she tried to get a guide dog for Bailey by concealing a stray dog in the garage. This is a charming, amusing book. It's for the 10—12 age group, but perhaps it could stretch to 13 and 14-year-oldstudents who are reluctant readers, because although the words aren't complicated, the interchanges between Bailey and Rosie and Granny Torrelli are more profound than they first appear to be, and would be good for class discussions. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2003, HarperCollins, 141p.,
— Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Sharon Creech's novel (HarperCollins, 2003) provides a humorous and endearing narrative about intergenerational relationships. Twelve-year-old Rosie and her grandmother, Granny Torrelli, begin to make "zuppa" as the story unfolds. The culinary setting becomes the backdrop for conversations about the ups and downs of adolescence, and the growing pains associated with the change in friendships over the years. The audio rendition brings a palpable energy to the text. Donna Murphy excels with her vocal characterizations and pacing, providing a vivacious and empathetic reading for all the characters and their moods-the earthy, honest Rosie, animated Granny Torrelli, composed Bailey, and Rosie's bouncy, upbeat nemesis, Janine. Diction is clear throughout. This is especially important as Italian phrases and words are sprinkled throughout. Teachers and librarians who are focusing on children with disabilities can use this as an insightful tool, as Bailey's blindness is faced head-on. The culinary experience can be shared by visiting Sharon Creech's homepage (http://www.sharon creech.co.uk/torelli_recipes.asp) for Italian cooking recipes.-Tina Hudak, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Riverdale, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Soup and pasta, that is. The preparation of the two dinners forms the structure for this loose little treatment in which 12-year-old Rosie works out her changing relationship with Bailey, the proverbial boy-next-door. The reader meets Rosie and her Granny as they slice and chop, Granny's penetrating questions and stories of her youth leading narrator Rosie to reflect in short vignettes on her lifelong friendship and on her current pre-adolescent difficulties. The scenario is repeated the following week, only now Bailey himself becomes part of the cooking crew, clearly benefiting as much from Granny's well-timed pauses as Rosie. Rosie's present-tense voice is fresh and young, with an ingenuous turn of phrase. The structure mitigates significant plot development, however: readers are presented with a situation-Bailey and Rosie redefine their childhood friendship-which is resolved ever-so-neatly, thanks to Granny's remarkably parallel stories and a few pinches of garlic. Full of good humor and aromatic seasonings, this offering nevertheless may not stick to the ribs. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064409605
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/18/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 93,229
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 7.46 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons and the Newbery Honor Book The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels The Great Unexpected, The Unfinished Angel, Hate That Cat, The Castle Corona, Replay, Heartbeat, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, as well as three picture books: A Fine, Fine School; Fishing in the Air; and Who's That Baby? Ms. Creech and her husband live in Maine.

Good To Know

In her interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Creech shared some fun facts about herself:

"One of my most interesting jobs was in graduate school, working with the Federal Theatre Project archives (a Library of Congress collection, then based at George Mason University). I catalogued original illustrations for set and costume designs, some by Orson Welles. It was fascinating work!"

"I once fell 20 feet from a tree, was knocked unconscious, and when I picked myself up and straggled home, my parents thought I was making it up. However, when my brother and I fabricated a story about an encounter with a bear, they believed that! So maybe I learned very early on that fiction was more interesting to listeners!"

"As readers can probably tell from my books, I love the outdoors. I love to hike, kayak, and swim. I also love to read (which is probably not a surprise) and I love the theater and art museums. I especially love all the instruments of art: inks, pens, paintbrushes, watercolors and oils, fine papers and canvases, and although I love to mess around with these tools and objects, I have minimal artistic skills."

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    1. Hometown:
      Pennington, New Jersey
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 29, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cleveland, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Hiram College, 1967; M.A., George Mason University, 1978

Read an Excerpt

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup PLM

That Bailey . . .

Bailey, that Bailey! He said to me, Rosie, get over yourself!

It was not a compliment.

I said, Bailey, you get over your own self.

Which shows you just how mad I was, to say such a dumb thing.

I'm Mad . . .

Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today.

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup PLM. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

In Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Sharon Creech cooks up another delightfully tender novel filled with warm words and secret recipes that proves nothing can break the bond between two lifelong pals.

The discussion topics in this reading group guide are intended to provide insight and spark conversations about the issues raised in this book regarding friendship and family.

Rosie's lifelong best friend, Bailey, is blind. However, this has never mattered to Rosie -- she has always found a way to get around any difficulties that have developed. But now that they're in different schools and have different friends, both Rosie and Bailey find themselves jealous of the new experiences they're unable to share together. They just can't seem to get along at all anymore, and Rosie doesn't know what to do to fix the problem. But, Rosie's Granny Torrelli does! With a dash of humor and a pinch of wisdom, Granny Torrelli helps Rosie and Bailey discover the recipe for a lasting friendship.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Most of the story revolves around the preparation and consumption of food. What role does food play in Rosie's life? Granny Torrelli's? The whole family's? Can you give examples?
  2. Rosie describes herself as a tiger, a fox, and an ice queen to convey specific feelings she experiences. Which feeling is reflected by the tiger? The fox? The ice queen? Can you think of similar ways to characterize feelings that you face?
  3. Granny doesn't just make soup, she makes sense. What are some of the secret recipes and "little miracles" that Grannyperforms?
  4. How does Bailey's blindness affect his friendship with Rosie? What changes? What stays the same? How does their friendship differ from one between two people with sight?
  5. Why do you think Granny Torrelli still harbors sadness and regret over the loss of her friendship with Pardo? What do you think she would do differently if given a second chance?
  6. The experiences that Granny Torrelli dealt with as a young woman, such as her love for Pardo and her jealousy of Violetta, are very similar to those Rosie and Bailey are facing now. Do you think Bailey and Rosie recognize these similarities? Do you think Granny Torrelli's reminiscing helps Rosie and Bailey better understand their own feelings?
  7. Rosie spent a whole year learning Braille in secret to surprise Bailey. Why do you think she wanted it to be a surprise? Why do you think Bailey became so upset? And why was he okay with teaching Janine?
  8. Granny Torrelli tells Rosie and Bailey she cut Violetta's hair because she was jealous that Pardo paid so much attention to the new girl. Do you think Granny Torrelli would have felt good if the haircut had made Violetta look ugly? Why are Rosie and Bailey so shocked that Granny Torrelli behaved like a "monster girl" in her youth?
  9. Rosie learns important lessons while preparing the soup and pasta with Granny -- what does she learn from sharing those meals with the others?
  10. Rosie feels very protective of her friendship with Bailey. Why do you think she suggests to Bailey that they invite all the neighbors to the pasta party even though she usually likes to keep him all to herself?
  11. In the end, Rosie realizes that she cannot control who comes to her pasta party, or who will be her best buddy, and feels a sense of relief. Why does she feel so relieved? What are other feelings she could have felt instead?

About the Author

Sharon Creech is the author of the Newbery Medal winner Walk Two Moons, and the Newbery Honor winner The Wanderer. Her other work includes the novels Ruby Holler, Love That Dog, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Chasing Redbird, and Pleasing the Ghost, and two picture books, A Fine, Fine School and Fishing in the Air. After spending eighteen years teaching and writing in Europe, Sharon Creech and her husband have returned to the United States to live.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 58 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2010

    Best book i have ever read!!

    I loved this book the moment I read the first page!! ! The book is not a huge chapter book,but it is very informative in the pages! I recommend this book for ages 9-12. Sharon Creech is a great author! She interprets many stories into one! It is also very inexpensive!! You also learn many things,lessons like dealing with annoying friends , jealousy, and you also learn some italian!!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2012

    Granny torelli makes soup

    I loved this book. It was very touching. It was a book about hard friendship, new friendship, and granny torrelli. I couldn't ask for anymore for this book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    kmoise

    i love this book it made me laugh


    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    It's really great !

    Even doe i only read the sample!!! (It has alot of chapters to!!!)

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    It's great!

    I really love this book!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    awesome

    This book is so funnny. I loved this book. I would recomend this book to anyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Please respond

    Is it any good if so write review addressed to Elise B.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Books

    One of my teachers read this book to us in class

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Awsome

    Thhis boook is sooooo good i llooovvveee Shron Creech!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2011

    A favorite

    I love this book!!Five stars for granny torrelli.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book!

    I just love this author! She can make you laugh and cry in the same chapter! This book is funny, witty, and touching, and by the plainest words and most creative words... Its one of Sharon Creech's best!
    YOU ROCK SHARON CREECH!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2008

    Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

    As soon as I picked up the Granny Torrelli Makes Soup I could not put it down. It was the most interesting book in the world. I think every single person should read it. <BR/> Rosie, the main character is the funniest person in the whole book. She is trying to make a boy like her who is her best friend. But, he likes another girl. If you want to find out what happens pick up the book and I promise you that you will love it and you will never want to put it down.<BR/> In one part of the story when Rosie likes a boy and he doesn¿t like her It reminded me of one of my friends who reminded me of Rosie she likes a boy, but he doesn¿t like her back. I thought that was very weird, especially because the exact same thing happened to my friend. <BR/> Sharon Creech is a Newberry Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons, and Absolutely Normal Chaos. In her writing, she creates a world in which characters from different books cross paths and sometimes meet Sharon Creech lives in Surrey, England for nine months of the year during the summer months, she returns to Lake Chatagua in western New York Stale to spend time with her grown children. I would recommend this book to everyone including, grown ups.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2008

    LOVE SOUP

    I AM ONE PERSON THAT LOVES TO COOK ESPECIALLY SOUPS ! I ALWAYS USE THIS BOOK WHEN IT BEGINS TO GET COLD YOU HAVE AVARIETY OF SOUPS TO MAKE AND WHO DOESNT WANT A NICE WARM BELLY ON A SNOWY DAY !

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Sweet book

    this book was on my going into fifth grade summer reading list. i went online to find out more about the book. i just had to read it! i loved it so much i finished it in one night. this is one of the best books i have ever read. i think it is cute. but you have to be nine or ten to understand it. but i promise you will love the book. hope you enjoy this emotional book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Stream

    Emberclan

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!! It is worth the money. You should read this book. It is great and teaches you very important lessons. I recommend this book to anyone u

    GREAT!!!!!! It is worth the money. I loved it. Good for all ages from 2-60

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    F

    D

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2013

    This book is good

    This book i good and very interesting knowing that the rest of sharon creech's books are sad or something like that but i do recomend this book it is about how you will do anything to fix a friendship

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    LOVE it

    This is a good it is about two freinds that keep geying in fights

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2013

    Love books

    &#9825 &#3371 &#99787

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews

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