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Looking for Me

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  79 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
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(showing 1-30 of 585)
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Kate
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,
...more
Sarah
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
...more
Deanna
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.
Vikki VanSickle
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
Jennifer
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
S Farneth
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
...more
Kara

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.
Laura
This free verse, historical fiction novel follows along a twelve-year-old protagonist named Edith Paul. She is the fourth of twelve children and struggles to figure out who she really is other than ‘just plain Edith/ I’m number four’. As readers we watch her struggle with siblings, her parents, unexpected tragedies, poverty, and school. You root for her and hope that one-day her dream of going to college and becoming a teacher will come true. The book is an easy read that deftly weaves in inform ...more
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
Donna
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)
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
Barbara
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
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
Ellen
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
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
...more
Jeanette
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
Jen
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
Suzanne
Set in Baltimore in 1936, Edith lives with her family of 12 in a crowded Baltimore rowhouse with white marble steps. Edith’s family is Jewish and they celebrate all the holy days. Edith wishes she could be special and not just one more kid. She helps watch all her younger brothers and sisters everyday. After her baby brother Melvin dies her mother stays home and she must go to work at the family's diner everyday after school, til late at night. Her teacher encourages her to go to college and one ...more
Dolores
Free verse historical fiction. Historical fiction is not my favorite, so free verse definitely makes it easier! I enjoyed this introspective look at a young girl trying to find her place in a very big family. The time period was really incidental--this story could have been set anywhere, any time. What is important is the search for self, but it is an eye-opener for kids today to know how kids lived then. To know that young children were expected to work, and that girls were not expected to purs ...more
Victoria
I love the style of this book, which used poems to create a first person memoir style biography of the author's mother who grew up in a big Jewish family in Depression era Baltimore. I liked the main character, her feel for her own particular life, and the glimpse of history it gave me. Some moments made me gasp, like when a school mate learned Edith was jewish and checked under her hair for horns. There is real loss and reall love in the family, and Edith's quest to know herself in the middle o ...more
Tisha
What a delightful find! Based on the childhood of the author's mother, this tale is told in verse, the perfect medium for the story. Edith is in the middle of the twelve children of the Paul family, expected to help with the family restaurant, and take care of the littler ones. Throughout the year chronicled in the book, she searches for some sort of identity, some uniqueness as the Depression rages, money is tight, and her family experiences tragedy. Edith is not the best student in her class, ...more
Brianna Crall
Oh my beautiful! Fast read about an eleven year old finding herself in her large family. Love and tragedy fill up these pages. Amazing read.
Jennie Vosen
Wonderful historical fiction book written-in-verse about a large Jewish family (12 children!) growing up in the 1930s in America. Happy and sad, haunting and touching, it is written in the voice of the eleven-year-old daughter, Edith.
Kate Outland
This is a great book! I love history and knowing what it was like back then! This book made me wonder what would happen next!
Kristin
Story in verse about the author's mother and her life growing up in Baltimore probably in the 40s or so. The verse was simplistic and clunky, and didn't add to the story. Some sections were affecting, especially when the girl tried to figure out where she fit in among her many siblings and relatives. Her family emigrated from Russia, and the book talks about her experiences being Russian-American and Jewish, but the story wasn't communicated that effectively. This would be more supplemental for ...more
Ruth
My grandmother was the same age as the children in All of a Kind Family. My son's grandparents are the same age as the family in this book, a novel in verse about a Jewish girl growing up poor, with seven siblings, in Baltimore in the 1930s. The family is large and loving, but the parents are not the idealized parents of the All of a Kind Family. A child dies and the mother becomes depressed. The father has a hard time showing affection. Nevertheless, the book is positive--the protagonist is a s ...more
Yapha
Edith is 4th in a Jewish family of 12 children in Baltimore during the Great Depression. Seemingly simplistic, this story is told in poems, and follows the course of one year of Edith's life. Don't let the white space on the pages fool you! This book made me laugh and cry as I got to know Edith, her parents, her brothers and sisters, her Bubbies, and her friends at school. The depth of emotion show in the poetry was sometimes overwhelming. Although taking place in the 1930s, many of the incident ...more
Kathleen
I like verse books a lot and this one is quite moving. Read it in one sitting.
Deborah
Very moving book; I really rooted for Edith and she did find herself in the end! Very well told story; I'm not inclined to read stories in verse, but this was so easy and rich
C
Sep 10, 2014 C rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 24-hours
A useful book for middle schoolers.
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