Diamond Willow

Diamond Willow

by Helen Frost
4.8 10


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Diamond Willow by Helen Frost

more to me than
most people

Twelve-year-old Willow would rather blend in than stick out. But she still wants to be seen for who she is. She wants her parents to notice that she is growing up. She wants her best friend to like her better than she likes a certain boy. She wants, more than anything, to mush the dogs out to her grandparents' house, by herself, with Roxy in the lead. But sometimes when it's just you, one mistake can have frightening consequences . . . And when Willow stumbles, it takes a surprising group of friends to help her make things right again.

Using diamond-shaped poems inspired by forms found in polished diamond willow sticks, Helen Frost tells the moving story of Willow and her family. Hidden messages within each diamond carry the reader further, into feelings Willow doesn't reveal even to herself.
Diamond Willow is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374317768
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/01/2008
Series: Frances Foster Bks.
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.68(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.69(d)
Lexile: 670L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Hidden, Crossing Stones, The Braid, and Keesha's House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Helen Frost was born in Brookings, South Dakota, the fifth of ten children. She recalls the summer her family moved from South Dakota to Oregon, traveling in a big trailer and camping in places like the Badlands and Yellowstone. Her father told the family stories before they went to sleep, and Helen would dream about their travels, her family, and their old house. "That's how I became a writer," she says. "I didn't know it at the time, but all those things were accumulating somewhere inside me."

As a child, she loved to travel, think, swim, sing, learn, canoe, write, argue, sew, play the piano, play softball, play with dolls, daydream, read, go fishing, and climb trees. Now, when she sits down to write, her own experiences become the details of her stories. Helen has lived in South Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Scotland, Colorado, Alaska, California, and Indiana. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.

Reading Group Guide

Note: None of these questions has a "right answer." They are suggestions of things you might think about or talk over with someone else who has read Diamond Willow.

1. Do you think Willow is lonely? Is being lonely the same as being alone?

2. Is having a pet just as good as having a person-friend?

3. What does Willow discover that makes it easier for her to make new friends?

4. Have you ever experienced the death of someone who loves you? If so, do you sometimes feel like their love for you is still somewhere in the world, as expressed by the animals in Diamond Willow?

Customer Reviews

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Diamond Willow 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DIAMOND WILLOW is a beautifully written insightful book that has a very heartwarmning story written in free verse. It is all about very important relationships set in winter time in Alaska. It is very appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students.
Kylie1999 More than 1 year ago
Diamond Willow is about a tweleve-year-old girl named Willow Who goes through a thrilling adventure to save her father's lead sled dog, Roxy, (who is really Willow's sister, Diamond.), from possible uthinization because of her loss of eyesight from a sledding ingury. Her friends, Kaylie and Marty, help her along the way. In the text of the book, you will notice tha most of the text is in the shapes of diamonds. In bold words are things that Willow thinks about in the points of time during the story. A great book for dog lovers that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Amazing thrills and action that will keep you reading until the end. A truely exellent story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would read this book if I were you. Their are some very different topics that Helen Frost has in this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing - the use of a diamond willow as a name, symbol, and even a poetic form was brilliant. Interjection of prose by animals who are spirits of Willow's ancestors was creative. The imaginings of Willow's twin sister while still in the womb was amazing. The entire work made you cry and hope for the best and ended with the feeling of peace and awe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
englteach More than 1 year ago
I am a middle school librarian and former middle school teacher, so I have read A LOT of books for kids and teens. Diamond Willow was one of the most beautiful books I've read in a long time! From the unique format to the way all the characters and animals are connected, teachers and tween/teen readers should not miss this one. It's so short it can be read in one sitting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a great book for our 10 year old girls with mothers book club. It was good for the girls to show how they can relate to one another in their life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son's school is using this book for their book club - so I snuck it away and read it. Excellent book. Could be used to show cultural aspects. Great perspective on how difficult it is to be a pre-teen!
kch More than 1 year ago
I read this story aloud with my 9 year old daughter. It is the best story we have read together all year. The characters are interesting-- some are animals. My daughter loved reading the diamond shaped poems and then highlighted messages in each one too.