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A House of Tailorsby Patricia Reill Giff
Synopses & Reviews
SEWING! NO ONE could hate it more than Dina Kirk.
Endless tiny stitches, button holes, darts. Since she was tiny, shes worked in her familys dressmaking business, where the sewing machine is a cranky member of the family.
When 13-year-old Dina leaves her small town in Germany to join her uncles family in Brooklyn, she turns her back on sewing. Never again! But looking for a job leads her right back to the sewing machine. Why did she ever leave home? Here she is, still with a needle and threadand homesick to boot.
She didnt know she could be this homesick, but she didnt know she could be so brave either, as she is standing up to an epidemic or a fire. She didnt know she could grow so close to her new family or to Johann, the young man from the tailors shop. And she didnt know that sewing would reveal her own wonderful talentand her future.
In Dina, the beloved writer Patricia Reilly Giff has created one of her most engaging and vital heroines. Readers will enjoy seeing 1870s Brooklyn through Dinas eyes, and share her excitement as she discovers a new world.
"After writing Nory Ryan's Song and Maggie's Door, two novels inspired by family history, Giff takes another trip back, this time to 1870 Germany. Here she introduces 13-year-old Dina, a spunky, courageous heroine based on the author's great-grandmother. While war rages between Germany and France, Dina is sent to America to stay with her Uncle Lucas, his wife and baby daughter. Believing that all people in Brooklyn, N.Y., live 'in luxury,' Dina is bitterly disappointed to find out that her uncle is anything but rich. To make matters worse, he is a tailor by trade like Dina's widowed mother, and he expects Dina to continue doing what she detests most: stitching trousers and dresses for wealthy clients. But Dina's skill with a needle along with her quick-wittedness and strong stubborn streak allow her to save the day for Uncle's family more than once. The author offers a realistic portrayal of hardships typical of the period. Dina survives cramped living conditions, a smallpox epidemic, a devastating fire and recurring pangs of homesickness before finding her niche in Brooklyn. While the author develops the relationship between Dina and her uncle subtly and gradually, readers may wish that the blossoming affection between the heroine and her love interest were equally fleshed out. Still, most will empathize with Dina's sorrows and share her gratification when she eventually finds happiness and a profitable, enjoyable vocation. Ages 9-12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The two-time Newbery Honor winner draws upon her own family history for this new novel. Thirteen-year-old Dina Kirk leaves Germany to join her uncle's family in 1870s Brooklyn. Having worked in her family's dressmaking business, Dina turns her back on sewing. But looking for a job leads her right back to sewing--and to her future.
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