Looking for Me: ... In This Great Big Family by Betsy R. RosenthalLooking for Me: ... In This Great Big Family by Betsy R. Rosenthal

Looking for Me: ... In This Great Big Family

byBetsy R. Rosenthal

Paperback | September 10, 2013

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"Rosenthal's spare writing superbly captures the emotional growth of a girl on the cusp of adolescence."&nbsp - School Library Journal &nbspOne of twelve siblings growing up in Depression-era Baltimore, Edith isn't quite sure of who she is. Between working at her father's diner, taking care of her younger siblings, and living in the shadow of her more mature sisters, she feels lost in a sea of siblings. When a kind teacher encourages Edith to be a teacher herself one day, Edith sees prospects for a future all her own. Full of joy, pain, humor, and sadness, this novel in verse is an enduring portrait of one family's pursuit of the American dream.
Before writing children's books, Betsy Rosenthal was a lawyer for a national civil rights agency. She left that career to raise her three children and focus on her writing. The author of three picture books and many published essays, she lives in Pacific Palisades, California.  Looking for Me is her first novel. Vist her at&...
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Title:Looking for Me: ... In This Great Big FamilyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 7.63 × 5.13 × 0.46 inPublished:September 10, 2013Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544022718

ISBN - 13:9780544022713

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Sweet A sweet, poignant story that describes childhood so well. A quick read.
Date published: 2017-01-18

Read from the Book

Edith of No Special Place I’m just plain Edith.I’m number four,and should anyone care,I’m eleven years old,with curly black hair. Squeezed / between /two / brothers,Daniel and Ray,lost in a crowd,will I ever be morethan just plain Edith,who’s number four? In my overcrowded familyI’m just another face.I’m just plain Edithof no special place. Always One More I saw these wooden nesting dolls in a store,the kind where you don’t know how many dollsthere are altogether until you startopening them up,and there’s alwaysone more inside,sort of likemy family. Family Portrait, Baltimore, 1936 We’re lined up:girl boy, girl boy, girl boy, girl boy, girl boy, and in the middle of us all, Dad,who ordered us to smileright before the Brownie clicked,standing stiff as a soldier,no smile on his face, and Mom’s beside him,a baby in her armsand in her rounded bellyanother one, just a trace. Inspector Bubby When Mom goes to the hospitalto have this new baby,us older kidswatch the younger onesand keep the house clean. We think we’re doing okay until Dad’s mother, Bubby Anne,comes overand runs her finger across the topof the china cabinetthat we couldn’t even reach, just to show us the dustwe’ve left behind. There Goes That Theory Nobody asked my opinionabout having another sister or brother.But if someone had, I would have askedfor another little sister,even though I was sure this new babyin Mom’s bellyhad to be a boy. How could I be so sure?Because the last girl she hadwas my sister Annette. Sometime after Annette came along,Mom collapsedand Dad rushed her to the hospital, where they took out one of her ovaries(part of her baby-making equipment,Bubby Anne told us). So my sisters and I thoughtit must have beenthe girl-making one because since the surgeryMom has had nothing but boys —my brothers Lenny, Melvin, Sol, and Jack. But now this baby in Mom’s bellyturned out to be Sherry.And that’s the end of our ovary theory. Now We’re Even Maybe Mom and Dadwanted one last oneto even things up.With six boysand now six girls,maybe they’re done. I guess there’s reallyno way of knowing,but I sure hopeour family’sall done growing. Some People Don’t UnderstandAbout a Big Family My friends Connie and Eunicelove coming to my house.To them it seems likewe’re always having a party. But I’d rather go to their houses,where there’s room to move aroundwithout bumping into anybody and you neverhave to stand in lineto use the bathroom. I Wonder What It Would Be Like To sleep by myselfin this bedthat holds threewith all of the coversto coverjust me. To spread my arms wideand lieat a slantwith no other bodiesto saythat I can’t. To lieon a pillow,no feet in my face;I’d lie awake nightsjust feeling the space. Keeping the Days Straight Since it’s summertimeand we aren’t back in school yet,I keep forgetting what day it is. So my brother Raymondteaches me the trickof checking what Mom’s making for dinner. Mondays are milkhik, Tuesdays, liver;Wednesdays are macaroni casserole days,Thursdays are meat,and Fridays we eat a Shabbos feastof chicken, chopped liver, and soup.Saturdays we have what’s left,and Sundays Dad brings home deli. So the day of the weekall dependson what’s inside my belly. Why Can’t Summer LastForever? Summer meanswe’re outside,trying to cool off.So my little brother Melvingrabs my handand we run by the garden hosethat Mom’s waving around.We scream with gleeas she hoots and sprays uswith its misty breath. Summer meanstrips to the shore with Dad,where we all play tagwith the wavesand build castles in the sandand then, on the way home,stop for kosher dogs,lathered with mustard,like shaving cream on a man’s face. Summer meansmatinees at the Roxy Theatreon weekdays,not just weekends,and taking my brothers and sistersto the parkto play dodge balland horseshoesand hum in the kazoo band. Why can’t summer last forever? Lucky Lenny Last Sundaywhen Dad took us to swim in the bayat Workmen’s Circle Lodge,my little brother Lenny slippedon a plum pit in the pavilionand broke both his legs. He’s in the hospital now,getting loads of comic books,marbles, and card gamesand more candy buttons and chocolate licoricethan he could ever eat,and the nurses are fluffing up his pillowsand bringing him grape soda all the time.He’s even making new friends,playing war and go fishwith the man in the next bed. Today when we went to swim,I looked as hard as I couldfor my ownplum pit. One Summer Night My little sister Marian is missing again,so Dad packs some of us into his Hudson(we can’t all fit)and we drive around until we finally find Marianin the park,bouncing her little paddle board and ball,not even noticing the darkat all. When we get home,Dad uses Marian’s paddle,but not on the ball,and she doesn’t act like she’s sorryat all. Goodbye to Summer When Dad’s mother, Bubby Anne,gives us all pairs of new socksto wear to school,it’s time to say goodbye to summer. When Mom’s mom, Bubby Etta,reaches into her shopping bagfull of crayons, jacks, and candyand hands each of us"a little something specialto start off the new school year,"it’s time to say goodbye to summer. But I wish it wasn’t.Now I’ll have to go to school all dayinstead of swimmingat the Patterson Park pooland playing stickballwith Daniel and his friendsand taking Melvin to the Roxyto see the Popeye cartoons. I’ll have to get up early,even before the sun rubs the sleepout of its eyes.I’ll have to face math testsand spelling bees and homeworkand the weather will turn drearyand stormy like in a scary movie. I know it’s time to say goodbye to summer,but I’d much rather be saying hello.

Editorial Reviews

Rosenthal's spare writing superbly captures the emotional growth of a girl on the cusp of adolescence, despite its specific historical context." - School Library Journal "The overall tone is one of solidarity in spite of difficulties." - Booklist "