Sarah's Stars

Carolyn Marsden. Take Me with You
Candlewick Press $19.00 ISBN 978-0-7636-3739-2 176 pg.
Reviewed by Jenny, Age 12

Pina and Susanna, they’ve been friends for every single second that they’ve lived at Istituto di Gesu Bambino. This is a home for kids that were abandoned during the war. But now things are changing and the two girls are feeling separated more and more by the minute. Now that they’re getting older, they’re starting to want to know more about their parents. When a man claiming to be Susanna’s father comes to the Istituto, Pina starts to get jealous. What would happen if Susanna got a home and Pina didn’t? Will Pina find her parents or will they be separated for life?

Take Me with You was a great book, and I think that it taught some great lessons, as in friends are very important and you shouldn’t let jealousy ruin your friendship. I think that the characters were well played out, except that I got a bit confused by all the different people. There were so many people and frequently I had to go back to figure out what was happening. At the start of the book, I was a bit confused about who was Pina and who was Susanna, but after I got that figured out, it made lots of sense and was a great book. My only other criticism would be that it took too long to get to the point. If I hadn’t read the back of the book, I wouldn’t have known what was happening, at least not until I got to the middle.

Carolyn Marsden loves to write books about kids! But if you’ve read lots of her books, you'll know that all of her books are about people from different places in the world. This is because she comes from Mexico and her husband is part Thai, so she feels a very strong connection with her books. Some other books by her are Starfields, The Gold-Threaded Dress, Mama Had to Work on Christmas, Silk Umbrellas, The Quail Club, Moon Runner, When Heaven Fell, Bird Springs, The Jade Dragon and The Buddha’s Diamonds.

Despite the slow start, I would give Marsden’s Take Me with You four stars.

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