Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Tour: Jimmy's Stars by Mary Ann Rodman

"The two people Ellie McKelvey hated most were Adolf Hitler and Victoria Gandeck. Hitler lived in Germany, but Victoria was just across the alley. And right now, Ellie hated Victoria more."
For the next few days I'll be featuring Jimmy's Stars as part of Mary Ann Rodman's book tour. This tour is sponsored by Kids Book Buzz, a blog devoted to promoting quality children's literature.

My 10-year-old daughter and I have been reading this book together in the evenings for a couple of weeks now. According to her, this is "one of the best best books ever." (This is a child who has been getting a daily dose of classic read-alouds since birth; in other words, we've read a lot of books together.) I have been reading aloud to her since I am the one actually writing the review, but she couldn't resist reading ahead a couple of chapters on her own most nights.

The book is targeted to the 9-12 year old audience. The central character is 11-year-old Ellie McKelvey, an average girl from a blue-collar family. The setting: working-class neighborhood in Pittsburgh in September 1943. The central conflict: the affects of World War 2 on Ellie, her family, friends, and the community, shown primarily through Ellie as she tries to deal with her beloved brother, Jimmy, being off at war.

Author Mary Ann Rodman’s debut novel, Yankee Girl, was chosen as a VOYA Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers and an NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. My daughter and I will be checking this one out together soon! Rodman's My Best Friend is for younger readers, as are her upcoming First Grade Stinks and Surprise Soup.

We still have 2 more chapters to read in Jimmy's Stars, so I'll post my actual review of the book tomorrow. Suffice it to say: my daughter and I both loved it. More stops on the book tour are listed below:

01 Charger, A Childhood of Dreams, A Christian Worldview of Fiction
A Mom Speaks, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Book Review Maniac, By the Book Reviews, Dolce Bellezza, Fireside Musings, Home School Buzz, Looking Glass Reviews, Maggie Reads, Small World Reads, The Friendly Book Nook, The Hidden Side of a Leaf


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I adored this book! I'm now putting Yankee Girl and My Best Friend on my TBR list.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Parents reading this book with their middle grader is ideal as far as I'm concerned. There are some important themes, and great to be able to discuss them together.


sally apokedak said...

I'm also picking up Yankee Girl. I'm excited to have found Mary Ann Rodman through this tour.

And I agree that reading the book together with our kids is a great way to read this book. I think there's a lot for families to talk about here.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm always on the hunt for great children's books and have recently discovered Bayard and their series of StoryBoxBooks, AdventureBoxBooks and DiscoveryBoxBooks (which has a special focus on teeth!) They have work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury appearing in the Storybox series for September. In addition to this, they also have some great activities for rainy days:,, Enjoy!

____Maggie said...

I've read three of Rodman's booksnow and feellike a groupie following the tour bus! ;)

____Maggie said...

Dang space bar!