Parents' Guide to

Becoming Joe DiMaggio

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Poems about growing up during WWII.

Book Maria Testa Poetry 2004
Becoming Joe DiMaggio Poster Image

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Based on stories of the author's family, the book, written as 24 short, free-verse poems, weaves a delicate spell of humor, nostalgia, and sadness. In doing so, he somehow captures two lives -- Joseph's and his grandfather's. It's astounding how much is hinted at and filled in in the reader's mind: the grandfather's difficult immigrant life and hopes for his son and then his grandson, the violent father's brushes with the law, the mother's trials in raising the family with and without him, the giftedness of the grandson, on whom the family's hopes are pinned, the career of DiMaggio and his importance to immigrant families.

This book is like a magic bag that holds so much more than physics allows. Your child may be surprised that in discussion it takes far longer to unpack all the layers of meaning and content than it did to read the book. That's the power of poetry.

Book Details

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