Synopses & Reviews
EILEEN SPINELLI is the popular, critically acclaimed, and beloved author of nearly 50 children's books. Among these are the middle-grade novels Summerhouse Time
and The Dancing Pancake
and picture books such as Cold Snap
and Princess Pig.
Eileen and her husband live in Western Pennsylvania.
JOANNE LEW-VRIETHOFF graduated from the Art Center College of Design in 1995 and began her career creating characters for children's television. In 1997 she became the art director for New York's DiVision Studio, creating award-winning designs for various hi-profile clients. Since then she has moved to the Netherlands where she continues to forge her talents as a designer and illustrator. Joanne is married and has two children.
"Spinelli's third novel in verse (after Summerhouse Time and The Dancing Pancake) explores identity, friends, and family with perception and humor. The fast-moving story is told in the fresh voice of Suzy Quinn, who is jealous of the attention heaped on her four-year-old brother, Parker, after he calls 911 to summon help for an elderly neighbor. Spinelli gives Suzy credible dimension as she reacts to Parker's newfound celebrity ('I really don't know/ how much more/ of this little hero stuff/ I can take') and then to the news that her brother has gone missing, derailing her 12th birthday plans ('What kind of sister am I?/ Mad that Parker is missing/ instead of worried'). Suzy's sense of self is further shaken when she fails to land a role in a play, which leads her to mimic with amusing vigilance the lifestyle of Emily Dickinson and shun family and friends. Spinelli tempers Suzy's melancholy with her inadvertent wittiness ('Who could have thought/ being a recluse/ could be so/ exhausting!') to create a thoughtful, reflective story. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12. Illustrator's agency: MB Artists. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
"Taut, fast-paced, economical, devoid of sham, Spinelli’s book echoes Dickinson’s own deceptive simplicity."--The New York Times Book Review
Eleven-year-old Suzy just can't win. Her brother is a local hero for calling 911 after seeing their elderly neighbor collapse, and only her best friend was able to win a role in the play they both auditioned for. Feeling cast aside from all angles, Suzy sees a kindred spirit in Emily Dickinson, the subject of her summer project. Suzy decides to escape from her disappointments by emulating the poet's life of solitude: no visitors or phone calls (only letters delivered through her window), no friends (except her goldfish, Ottilie), and no outings (except church, but only if she can wear her long white Emily dress).
But being a recluse is harder than Suzy predicted. Will she find a way to fold Emily into her life while also remaining true to herself?