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Looking for Me

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  406 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
One of 12 siblings growing up in depression-era Baltimore, Edithisn't quite sure of who she is. Between working at her father’s diner, taking care of her younger siblings, andliving in the shadow of her more mature sisters, Edith 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 ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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May 08, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was SO. GOOD. I usually hate books of poems. Like, I put them down immediately. Loathing.

But this book was different. I picked it up off the "new books" shelf at my school. I flipped through it, saw it was a book of poems, and almost put it down. I then saw the author had the same last name as me, and I thought, "Well that's pretty cool!" and read the inside flap about the book. It's about a girl in a big family, of 12 children. I'm one of 7 children, myself. She is trying to find her
Rhianna Sandoval
This book personally was one of my favorite books I have read over the past 6 weeks.This book is about a girl that has a pretty big family.In the book she also struggles trying to figure out who she actually is.They call her the litter mother because she's always helping her family like a mother .She is always pushed around by her older siblings witch she doesn't like.I recommend this book to you all and I hope you like it as much as I did.
Jul 07, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing
This book is truly a gem. Written all in verse, which I normally can't get through, it touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I was impressed by how well the verse was still able to move the story and I felt that I knew Edith intimately. Imagine my surprise when I found that this was based on the author's mothers' life! This made it all the more compelling for me.

Growing up in a family of six kids, I could relate to some of the things. And now as a mother, I especially loved this line,
Marianne Wonnacott
Nov 13, 2015 Marianne Wonnacott rated it really liked it
I've never read a story told in verse. Never thought I would like it. Although the large family that I come from and the large family that is now mine are not as big as Edith's family of 12 children, these stories are great reminders of what it's like to grow up in a house full of children. Sometimes exasperating, sometimes fun, sometimes hard, sometimes joyful, and always loud.

My favorite verse of the whole book was the one that caught my tear ducts off guard and sent them overflowing throughou
May 21, 2016 Kathi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
This is a memorable little book, easy to read in a single long-ish sitting, and whose characters will stay with me awhile. Written as a tribute to her mother, who is the main character of the story, Looking For Me richly depicts life for Edith, the fourth of 12 children, as she grows up in a “way too big family,” Jewish in a Catholic community in Baltimore in the 1930’s.

Although we don’t hear about the great poverty and hunger that so many suffered during the Depression, we do read about Edith’
Rosenthal uses her mother as inspiration for main character Edith. A slice of life story which I loved... reminded me of listening to my grandmother tell stories about her life growing up. Written in verse, the story moves along seamlessly and conveyed so well how I imagine it would have felt to BE Edith. The nostalgic feel makes this another one I wonder how kids will take to.
Aug 28, 2016 Tanja rated it really liked it
Loved this novel in verse inspired by the author's mum's childhood, growing up in a family with twelve children in the time around the Depression. Edith, the eleven year old narrator, shares what it's like to be stuck in the middle of so many siblings, the trials and challenges as well as the joy and love. Most of all, Edith wants to know who she really is, not an easy task with so many people around but bit by bit, Edith finds out more and more about herself, while sharing what the family's day ...more
Vikki VanSickle
Jun 27, 2012 Vikki VanSickle rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
his sweet book has a lot going for it. This is an era that isn’t over done and the immigrant story still feels contemporary. Some of the monetary issues that were all too common place during the depression ring true in this period of recession. Author Betsy R. Rosenthal, who draws on her own family’s history (including family photos and a short afterward), does a good job exploring the various forms of sibling relationships. Sometimes Edith is ‘the Little Mother,’ looking after her younger sibli ...more
Oct 24, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
I highly recommend this book if you can find it. If you grew up in a big family (I am one of 7 kids, not as big as the protagonist's family with 12 children, but probably considered large today) you will probably find something in this book that you can relate to. If not, you can still enjoy the story of an 11 year old girl finding her identity. It is short but has a lot of emotional material, very realistically depicted in the voice of a child. Overall a very touching, uplifting book that had m ...more
May 07, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This book is so similar to the experiences I had growing up in a family of ten. I love when Edith spends time with her mother in the late evenings watching her iron because that was the only time she had her mom to herself. In a large family you find those times with parents as very special. In my family we become the number of our birth order. Edith also experienced this. As with Edith's family when my family gets together it is loud and obnoxious but mostly fun. We never had birthday parties w ...more
Mar 18, 2016 Gina rated it it was amazing
My daughters age 7 and 9 loved this book. Written in verse, it was an emotional book that brought reflection, laughter and tears.
S Farneth
Apr 14, 2014 S Farneth rated it it was amazing
Looking for Me is the story of Edith, the fourth child out of twelve, growing up during the depression in a Jewish family in Baltimore and trying to figure out who she really is. The story is told by her daughter in verse. Edith becomes errand runner, babysitter, playmate and all around helper to her mother and siblings. Her father runs a diner and she helps out as she gets older there too.

Looking for Me tells the story so many of us with siblings can relate to; it’s the story of where do I bel
Kate Schwarz
Feb 17, 2016 Kate Schwarz rated it it was amazing
Do you know when you fill ice cube trays, and you start with the two cups on one end, and fill those, and the water fills the two small cups then spills over and fills the next two, then those spill over into the next two on? This is the experience you get when reading these beautiful poems by daughter Betsy Rosenthal about her mother, Edith.

Edith grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, during the Great Depression with little else besides an enormous family--there are twelve children, and Edith

Family hisotry set to prose poems telling of one girl figuring out who she is, where she comes from, and hwre she's going. A true telling of one of many American girls who were the first of many things in thier families - ie American, educated, and longing for independnce.
Shirley Freeman
The nesting dolls on the cover are the appropriate metaphor. Edith is number four in a set of 12 siblings growing up in depression-era Baltimore. When Edith is asked to write a poem about her family, she has good observations about each of her siblings but she leaves herself out of the poem. Edith often resents her siblings and her role as a 'good little mother.' She can't quite discern who she is and who she wants to become until a good teacher fires her imagination for something beyond her cur ...more
Nov 24, 2015 Bev rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, children
This is an example of a novel in free verse at its best. I enjoyed everything about it, particularly the Baltimore Depression-era setting and the fact that it is based on the real life of the author's mother. We get a real sense of what it must have been like living in a very large family with little money. For example, the narrator longs for a bed of her own and a time when she might wake up in the morning without feet in her face! I'm a sucker for stories with teachers who have a life-changing ...more
Edward Sullivan
Good family story based on the experiences of author's mother growing up as one of twelve children in Depression-era Baltimore.
Looking For Me was such an enjoyable book. Edith is a really likable girl who seems to get short shrift in her family. It’s a memoir in verse of Betsy’s mother’s childhood growing up in a very large Jewish family. Edith really struggles to find her place and make her parents see her. There are also a lot of expectations put on her. She helps care for all the younger children because she is “the little mother”. This is a role she doesn’t necessarily mind, but she also resents having it be expecte ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mock-newberry
Using prose, Edith searches for who she is within a family of twelve children. She is number four, the “little mother,” the one everyone can count on. But she doesn’t know who she really is. When asked to write about her family, she leaves herself out. She is always looking for peace and quiet. She feels she does most of the house work and still ends up working in her father’s diner. She takes care of her younger siblings and remains envious of her older sisters. When Edith’s teacher shows her k ...more
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
Apr 16, 2012 Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Looking For Me is based on the authors mother when she was eleven-years old, and touches on all those emotions that go-hand-in-hand with growing up in a "way-too big family." Jealousy, annoyance, joy, love, and anger. I recognize some of those emotions, I am one of those kids. Edith is child number 4 in a family of 12 - I am number 6 in...let's say a family of 8. Edith day dreams of being an only child and not having to share her clothes, her parents attention, and the air she breathes. She even ...more
Eleven-year-old Edith Paul often wonders where she fits in since there are 12 children in the family, and she usually ends up doing much of the housework and caregiving to the younger ones. When her teacher asks the class to write poems about their families, she is annoyed because she has quite a lot of ground to cover. This novel in verse, based on the growing up experiences of the author's own mother whose mother emigrated from Russia, highlights the tension between economic survival dependent ...more
Jennifer Haight
May 01, 2012 Jennifer Haight rated it really liked it
Looking for Me is a sweet and informative peek inside the life of a second generation Russian immigrant in Baltimore in the 1930’s. Written in verse, some which rhyme others that use free-form prose the poems are easily accessible and clearly deliver the reader to the time and place being written about. Edith who is described as being “just plain” is right in the middle of a family of 12 kids. They share beds and have hand me downs of hand me downs. The poems touch on education, Jewish tradition ...more
Feb 15, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this lovely book slowly. I didn't want it to end. Other reviewers agree with me. It's an emotional book. We feel for Edith. Childhood isn't easy, especially for a child who has adult responsibilities. The author conveyed so much information and emotion with her spare words. A wonderful book with a wonderful ending. The sad part is so sad, though. I don't know if I would recommend this book to anyone because of the sad part.

(The book is in the MCPL system)
Jen Mech
Feb 19, 2016 Jen Mech rated it really liked it
I am a fan of novels written in verse, since they can make reading a story seem so easy to reluctant readers. However, writing it well, and keeping the reader personally involved with the characters is a great feat for the author. Rosenthal did a great job on both accounts.
I read it before bed last night and wanted to go wake up my daughter to tell her that I love her. Though I did not grow up in a huge family myself, my mother is one of eight girls with a gruff father. She could probably relat
Jan 08, 2014 Jeanette rated it liked it
The most interesting part of this book, for me, was realizing that despite the difference in setting and cultural background (suburbs of Philly vs. NYC, Polish-Catholics vs. Russian Jews), the attitude towards children and the way they were treated was probably very much like how things were for my mom, oldest daughter in a very large family growing up in the sixties. How different things are for the kids who will be reading this book, who get paid $20 a week for making their own bed and spend t ...more
Suzanne Dix
Author Betsy Rosenthal writes the story of her mother's very big family growing up in Maryland in 1930s. Narrowing in on her mother Edith's eleventh year, the reader shares Edith's frustrations of being one of eleven children and how hard it is to find your identity in a house of so many. The free verse style is playful and sweet, much like the narrator. Highly recommended grades 5 through 8.
Nov 03, 2015 Kellie rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this one. I loved that it was based on a real family and that there were pictures at the back of the book. The stories in this book made me think of stories my grandmother would tell about when she was a little girl (with several brothers and sisters) and of stories she'd tell my mom and aunts and uncles. A couple of the poems actually made me laugh out loud.
Apr 17, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing
So touching and memorable. I loved the verse and Edith's journey to discover who she was. I was drawn to tears more than once. One of the best parts was getting to the end and seeing the pictures. I loved finding out Edith was the author's mom in real life and that this was based on true people.
Sep 08, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Betsy R. Rosenthal has created a work of fiction based on her mother's family and the real life events of the Paul family. The author's Mom at eleven years old, Edith, is the narrator of the story as she takes us through that period of her life, living with her Mom, Dad and eleven siblings in Baltimore during the Great Depression. As the fourth child in such a large family, Edith struggles to find her identity, besides being "the little mother" to her younger brothers and sisters. This is a quic ...more
Tracie D'angelo
Feb 03, 2016 Tracie D'angelo rated it liked it
Looking For Me is a quick look at the Paul family. They are a large, Jewish family growing up in Baltimore, MD. The book is a collection of poems that tell the story through Edith's eyes who is the fourth of 12 children. Edith struggles with her own identity in a family where it's easy to get lost.

I really like books that tell a story through poetry. They are always quick reads which is always a feeling of accomplishment. I find it incredible that a story can be told with limited detail. I reall
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