Review by Shelly Burns (Write for a Reader)
Allison is a Catholic, living in Northern Ireland. Her mom walks her to school with the other Catholic students and their parents, but it is not your normal walk to school. It is dangerous because the only route to school is through a Protestant neighborhood. The Protestants are not nice with their taunts and threats, but neither are some of the Catholics Allison knows, for example, her uncle. Allison can’t understand why the Catholics and Protestants hate each other so much; is it the same in other countries? Maybe children could change things, if only the grown-ups would let them.
Eve Bunting takes a sad happening in Belfast, Ireland and tells a wonderful story. I have always enjoyed Bunting’s stories and this one is no exception. The writing, from Allison’s perspective, is so touching and so real. It makes you feel as if you are there, walking with Allison and the other Catholic students.
“The noise is awful. They’re blowing horns and whistles and clanging the metal lids of rubbish bins. Some of them are wearing scary Halloween masks. They’re shouting stuff I don’t want to hear.”
“I’m pushing my way along. Suddenly, somebody grabs my blazer and tears off one of my buttons.”
Bunting’s writing is so clear that you just want to reach out to Allison and take her away from the scary situation that she’s in.
I enjoyed the fact that Bunting chooses to focus on a real life experience and write a story around it. Most children won’t experience what Allison does, but they will experience bullying, ridicule, or hatred for being different in one way or another. This book shows that one small act of kindness can help you overcome that.
What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
A Year of Reading: "This is an amazing contemporary story, based on an actual event, about the power of young people to bring about social change and justice. " (read more...)
The Reading Zone: "This is a deep story and one I plan to use as a mentor text for personal narrative." (read more...)
- Reading level: Ages 4-8
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Clarion Books; 1 edition (September 8, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618261443
- ISBN-13: 978-0618261444
- Source: Review Copy from Publisher