Replay

Replay

3.8 28
by Sharon Creech
     
 

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Leo's papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. "Leo, you make gold from pebbles," and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing.

He may have been given a bit part in the school play ... but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway.

Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin ... but in his fantasy he

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Overview

Leo's papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. "Leo, you make gold from pebbles," and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing.

He may have been given a bit part in the school play ... but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway.

Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin ... but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants.

Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted ... but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight.

That's why they call Leo "fog boy." He's always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
Creech, a multiple Newbery honoree, sometimes dips into sentimentality…In this perfectly constructed novel for middle readers, some schmaltz-alert elements are present—huge Italian-American family, wise grownup, sweet, precocious kid—but Creech keeps her balance.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The play's the thing in this uneven audio adaptation of Creech's latest novel. Though he has a grand imagination and big dreams, young Leo often feels invisible in his large Italian family. None of his accomplishments seems to measure up to his siblings' efforts and he is the only one excited about his winning a role in the school production of drama teacher Mr. Beeber's play. Along with learning his lines, Leo spends much of his time rewinding and replaying scenes from his life, of course, dramatically fashioned to his liking. But fantasy and reality dovetail nicely at the end as Leo learns more about his family and his role in it. The elements of the play-within-the-novel device and the inclusion of Leo's frequent daydreams make the story's transition to audio a bit rough. At the recording's outset, readers hear a lengthy listing of Leo's extended family members as well as a recitation of the cast list for the play. These components may prove helpful in print, but are overwhelming and somewhat confusing on audio. Throughout, Burns reads with an often halting rhythm, rarely allowing readers to catch the beat of the tale, or of some of the more poignant or humorous bits in the writing. His deep voice frequently sounds like an old-fashioned radio announcer, which sometimes detracts from the youthful underpinnings here. Unfortunately, a full-cast reading of the bizarre school play at the end is an exercise in patience. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT
Leo is part of a large, noisy Italian American family, and he often feels overwhelmed and overlooked, like "a little sardine, squashed in a tin." In his frequent Walter Mitty-like daydreams, though, he is always the center of attention, heroic and talented. When Leo comes across his father's boyhood journal in the attic, he learns more about his father's life and dreams, and about his father's long-estranged sister. And when Leo is chosen to be in the school play (even if he is cast as an old crone!), he learns more about himself, his role in life and in his family, and the transformative power of the imagination. He starts to understand how to reconcile fantasy and reality, and he helps to reconcile his family members, too. Told in the form of a play, with dialog in script form, this tale explores Creech's familiar themes of coping with loss, journeying into the past and arriving at self-discovery in a poignant yet hopeful way. The play in which Leo performs is included at the end. Another tour-de-force from the Newbery Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons and other notable YA novels. KLIATT Codes: J*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2005, HarperCollins, 240p., and (Lib. bdg: ). Ages 12 to 15.
—Paula Rohrlick
Children's Literature
Meet Leo, a 12-year-old boy as shy and self-conscious as Jack (Love That Dog) and as introspective and mature-beyond-his years as Annie (Heartbeat). Sharon Creech's newest novel is written in traditional prose about a boy whose nickname is Sardine. Leo frequently daydreams his way out of squished invisibility by imagining himself a hero in all sorts of implausible scenarios. He is usually brought back to reality when a sibling shouts, "Hey, sardine-o. Your turn to clean the bathroom." Leo's compassion awakens unexpected sensitivities and stories of the past in family members, friends and most likely readers as well. Rehearsal for a school play is a constant thread in the story (the full play is included at the end of the book) and Leo even imagines what it would be like if we all had scripts for our lives, handed out when we are twelve years old: "You could know what dumb things you will do. You could find out if you ever will do anything that isn't dumb." This is an uplifting story, filled with touching, quirky and funny moments that could inspire thoughtful conversation or even playwriting at home or in class. 2005, Harper Collins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Karen Leggett
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2005: Leo is part of a large, noisy Italian American family, and he often feels overwhelmed and overlooked, like "a little sardine, squashed in a tin." In his frequent Walter Mitty-like daydreams, though, he is always the center of attention, heroic and talented. When Leo comes across his father's boyhood journal in the attic, he learns more about his father's life and dreams, and about his father's long-estranged sister. And when Leo is chosen to be in the school play (even if he is cast as an old crone!), he learns more about himself, his role in life and in his family, and the transformative power of the imagination. He starts to understand how to reconcile fantasy and reality, and he helps to reconcile his family members, too. Told in the form of a play, with dialog in script form, this tale explores Creech's familiar themes of coping with loss, journeying into the past and arriving at self-discovery in a poignant yet hopeful way. The play in which Leo performs is included at the end. Another tour-de-force from the Newbery Medal-winning author of Walk Two Moons and other notable YA novels.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Meet Leonardo. His family calls him "sardine," as he often feels smashed between Contento, his moody older sister, and his two younger brothers, Pietro and Nunzio. His life is filled with possibilities; he's a dreamer (which gains him the additional nickname of "fog boy"). But two events converge in unexpected ways, leading to new understanding, growth, and insight. Leo finds a journal written by his father at age 13 and is chosen for a part in a play written by the drama teacher entitled "Rumpopo's Porch." To his dismay, he is given the role of the Old Crone and the journal presents a person whom Leo doesn't know. Gradually, however, the Old Crone comes to appreciate Rumpopo just as Leo begins to see glimmers of the 13-year-old boy who matured into his now-frazzled father. Life, like plays and replays, has a cyclical nature. A rift in Leo's large, noisy, and completely realistic family begins to heal after a near disaster when Nunzio is injured, just as a hole created by loss can heal. Leo's fantasies intertwine with actual events, adding humor and insight. Characters are brilliantly delineated by their actions, reports of Leo's observations, and short dialogues presented in both conversations and in screenplay form. As Leo matures, nuggets of wisdom emerge from the simple text in this beautifully crafted novel. The script of "Rumpopo's Porch" is included to further clarify parallels. For in the end, "all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players."-Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
One of four children in a large, chaotic Italian-American family, 12-year-old Leo is nicknamed "sardine" because he once said he felt squished like one, and occasionally "fog boy" because he slips into thoughtful trances where he "replays" life's disappointing scenarios. Papa says Leo can make "gold from pebbles," and indeed, in Leo's amusingly grandiose imaginings, readers will behold the often-stumbling, invisible-feeling boy emerge as the Nobel Prize winner or famous actor he was (possibly) born to be. When Leo gets the part of "old crone" in the school play, he analyzes that character, but more important, he examines his own life's role, and that of his once-vivacious, now distant father. In this warm, funny, philosophical novel, Creech cleverly juxtaposes life and stage life, complete with a cast of characters, short chapters listed as scenes and pieces of dialogue recorded as script. By the end, Leo knows life can't be scripted, that he wouldn't want it to be, that "dorky, little nobody kids" (not that he is one) can become "amazing grown-ups" and that improvisation is key. (complete script of the school play) (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060540203
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/27/2005
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Replay


By Sharon Creech

Joanna Cotler

ISBN: 0-06-054019-2


Chapter One


Boy Wonder

From his perch in the maple tree, Leo hears a cry of distress, a high-pitched yelping. He scans the neighborhood, and there, midway down the block, he sees the old woman lying on the sidewalk. Leo leaps from the tree and races down the street.

"Call the rescue squad!" he orders a neighbor peering from her window.

Leo reaches the old woman, takes her pulse. It's weak, fading. "Stand back," he tells the gathering neighbors as he works at reviving the woman.

The woman's eyelids flutter. By the time the wail of the rescue squad car is heard, she is breathing normally, color returning to her cheeks.

"You saved her life," the rescue crew tells Leo. "You saved her life!"

"Hey, sardine! Fog boy! What the heck are you doing? Mom is looking all over for you."

Leo blinks and looks around.

"Did you hear me, sardine? You're going to be in big trouble - "

Leo turns. Trouble? Maybe someone needs him. He dashes for home. Maybe he will get there just in time.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Replay by Sharon Creech Excerpted by permission.
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