Using a perfect voice for the main character, 8 year-old Amy Rossi, this is the story of Amy's life with her father the year after the unexpected death of her mom. Beautifully written -- and at times heart-wrenching -- I believe this short chapter book belongs on our list of titles to be discussed for the 2008 Mock Newbery.
The things Amy Rossi does in the book are perfect for an eight year old. But the story is missing something. It didn't reach out to and grab me. I think the father was an underdeveloped character but since it was Amy that was telling the story maybe it had to be that way, but it bothered me. The best part of the book for me was the letters from Mrs. Rossi's students. I loved the letters. And, most importantly Amy's friend's dog should have come home with her in the end. Amy needed a dog.
This is a great little book. I even like that Amy didn't get a dog. It adds to the already totally-honest feel to the story. It's been awhile since I read it -- I'm going to read it again. I love books about 8-year-olds that 8-year-olds can and would read.
I read it, somewhat reluctantly because, frankly, I didn't feel like crying. What a great book that manages to have some funny moments. The book within the book is wonderfully authentic in its various age-appropriate voices.
I just finished reading this, and really want to read it again, already! I found this to be a really touching story, but I was a little disappointed in the dad's character; he just didn't seem to be very affected by his wife's death. However, in a book written for younger readers, this may have been intentional.
I even felt like Mrs. Rossi herself was a well-developed character; I felt like I knew her well from Annie's stories and memories, and of course from the book her students wrote. Learning about all of her wonderful qualities made me feel even sadder for Annie, to have lost such a loving, caring mother at so young an age.