Sharon Bell Mathis has written many books for children and young adults, received many accolades in her career. Her book Ray Charles, a nonfiction biography of Ray Charles, received the Coretta Scott King Award. The Hundred Penny Box received a Newbery Honor Award and is a recipient of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and also a American Library Association Notable Children's Book, and Teacup Full of Roses was a New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year.
Sidewalk Storyby Sharon Bell Mathis
Lilly Etta didn't know the men, but she knew those yellow chairs. They were Tanya's, and they were being taken out of her building. Tanya was being put out - Tanya, her mother, her six brothers and sisters. Their things would be piled on the sidewalk and left there to be had for the taking. It didn't matter if nobody else in the city cared; Lilly Etta did. She knew what friendship was, and she wasn't going to let her friend be thrown out without a fight.
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Although the story line is great - young girl fights for friend being evicted for not paying the rent- the story falls flat as the characters are not very well developed. As the reader, I had a hard time connecting with them emotionally or visualizing the scenes in my head as the story was written on a surface level, unfolding too quickly without taking the time to involve the reader. Not a waste of time to read, but not a book I would read again or recommend.
I read this book to the children at the Charter School I work at and they truly enjoyed listening, discussing and putting themselves in every sistuation as I read through the book. We discussed Lilly Etta's actions and each child came to a conclusion as to what they would do in such a case. They were truly touched by her deep friendship. This book can teach children what they can do to be a loyal friend to someone in need.