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Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002) changed children's literature for generations of readers, winning every major award in her field across the globe. Her awards and honors include the Newbery Medal, the National Book Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, a MacArthur Fellowship, and four honorary doctorates. Virginia was married to Arnold Adoff, and they have two children and one grandchild.


Gr 4-7-Over the course of four weeks in December, three girls form a close, hard-won friendship in this novel by Virginia Hamilton (Blue Sky Press, 1999). Dreenie, a fifth grader in New York City, comes from a loving home with two parents. Tuli, a biracial girl who pretends to be Latina, needs lots of attention and support from Dreenie. And then there's Natalie. The kids in school call her Bluish because her chemotherapy treatments for leukemia have left her with skin so pale that it looks almost blue. Dreenie is cautious about Natalie at first, reacting to her wheelchair and her prickly dislike of being on the receiving end of anyone's pity. As Dreenie begins to truly empathize with Bluish, the rest of the class begins to follow. The changes in point of view are somewhat confusing when reading the text, but the recording alleviates this problem. Actress Lisa Renee Pitts ably gives each character her own voice, helping to clarify changes in perspective. Tuli is exaggeratedly Latina, Bluish has a tiny and high voice, and Dreenie sounds like a New Yorker. A well-done audiobook dealing with the themes of differences, independence, friendship, and acceptance.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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