A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that several characters in the large cast of One Day and One Amazing Day on Orange Street have tough situations, including one girl whose baby brother has a brain tumor, another girl who worries her frequently traveling mother will die in a plane crash, and a boy who desperately tries to accomplish something special so that his father will pay attention to him. While none of these problems is oversimplified, each is handled with realistic yet delicate care appropriate to the intended audience.
What's the story?
Once a part of an orange grove, the last remaining orange tree on Orange Street connects all of the street's residents, especially the children, who range in age from 9 to 11. ONE DAY AND ONE AMAZING MORNING ON ORANGE STREET follows several of them over the course of a day and a half. Some gather under the tree to meet in a club; others go there when no one else is around to find comfort under its branches; an older resident of the neighborhood looks out her window and remembers her own childhood spent in the tree's shade. With the tree looking on (and even narrating a chapter), each child tries to work out his or her own private worries: Ali's baby brother has a brain tumor; Bunny's mother is frequently away on business; Leandra has a new sibling on the way; and Robert is lonely since his best friend moved away. When a mysterious stranger comes to town and a menacing orange cone appears beside the tree, the children realize they will have to join together for the tree, no matter what their private problems are.
Is it any good?
Several different viewpoints, the division of the day into different time periods, and periodic flashbacks give this tale a uniquely complex structure that might be off-putting to some readers. However, despite all the variables, author Joanne Rocklin manages to craft a simple and clear story whose many threads ultimately tie together in a satisfying conclusion. The large cast of characters is diverse and interesting, and each person is all the more likable for his or her flaws; the occasional short dose of an unusual narrator, such as the orange tree, serves to add both depth and humor to the story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about all the different characters in One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street. Which character do you relate to most?
Do you have a place you like to go for comfort, the way the kids in One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street have the orange tree?
Some of the book's chapters are from the point of view of a pet. What would your pet say if it was narrating a day spent with you?
- Author: Joanne Rocklin
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Amulet Books
- Publication date: April 1, 2011
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 207
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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