Children's Literature - Victoria Crenson
When her parents are suddenly transferred, fourteen-year-old Sarah must leave her friends and face a lonely summer in a new housing development outside Phoenix, Arizona. Her discovery of an old pottery fragment in the backyard and mysterious petroglyphs on the rocks of a nearby hill connects her with the distant past. When the petroglyphs are threatened by further development, Sarah must mobilize her new community to preserve an ancient legacy.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-While exploring her new neighborhood, Sarah Clark picks up a piece of Indian pottery, meets a neighbor who decorates T-shirts with petroglyph designs, and befriends a boy who introduces her to the archaeology of her Phoenix neighborhood. During a 10-day period, the duo gain an appreciation for the prehistoric art and organize their community to block the development that might damage or destroy the sites. The book starts in A.D. 991 with a young girl burying a pot (from which Sarah finds a sherd) and concludes in 2091 with Sarah's great-granddaughter noninvasively excavating the same piece of pottery. The Golios' message is so obvious and the integration of facts with fiction so overbearing that few readers will care enough about the story to learn the lesson. Adult characters are quirky, understanding, and supportive; the youngsters are energetic, creative, and determined. Bold type identifies terms that are defined in the glossary, but it is unclear why readers need help understanding words like arrowhead or horseshoe but not neurotoxic or paraphernalia. A four-page timeline traces Arizona's history from 25,000 B.C. to Janet Golio's 1991 surveying project in which she directed a volunteer project to assess damage to Arizona's petroglyphs. Too much pedantry and too little entertainment; leave this sherd in the midden pile.-Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin
The summer before her freshman year in high school, Sarah moves from California to Phoenix, Arizona. Alone all day while her parents work, Sarah is befriended by environmentally conscious neighbors who spark in her similar concerns for the surrounding area. Together they lead a fight to prevent a developer from destroying nearby petroglyphs. The weaving of Sarah's friendship with like-minded young Pilo adds romantic interest to the tale. Although the bulk of the story is told in the present, early chapters are snapshots of the history of the same piece of land, and a final chapter projects the use of that property into the future. The authors convey a solemn message of the sanctity of the land through a nice blend of fact and fiction.
Simple poetry that speaks to children of all ages--We're All Special says
it both clearly and joyfully. Author, Arlene Maguire says people vary in
their likes and looks and in their talents and styles, and she affirms each
of us for being exactly who we are. There is no right or wrong way of
being--just many different ways and they are all good.
The rhyming lines are a pleasure to read aloud and when I tried it out with
my four-year-old, Jason, he enjoyed the rhythmic text and Sheila Lucas' fun,
colorful illustrations. He was especially lit up when he heard,
"You really are important,
You are special and unique,
Frome the clothes you wear
To the special way you speak."
Those words were addressed directly to him and when he looked up at me and
smiled, I knew he'd gotten the message. We're All Special reinforces
self-acceptance and tolerance of others. This book is bound to be a
children's favorite in my home which I will be happy to read again and again
and again. The Joyful Child Journal, May,1995
The Book Reader
Lucas' full-color illustrations on one page are highlighted on the other
page by Maguire's uncomplicated reminders that our strenghts come from our
dissimilarities....Be your own unique person, Maguire tells the child, be
your own shining star. An inspired pairing of author and illustrator to
create a cheerful gala devoted to It Takes All Kinds."