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The Quiet Place

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  563 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
When Isabel and her family move to the United States, Isabel misses all the things she left behind in Mexico, especially her aunt Lupita and hearing people speak Spanish.  But she also experiences some wonderful new things--her first snow storm and a teacher who does not speak Spanish but has a big smile. Even better, Papa and her brother Chavo help her turn a big box into ...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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Mar 03, 2016 Claire rated it it was ok
Wavering between 2 and 3 stars for this book.

The illustrations by David Small are charming, the concept of immigration from the perspective of a child is wonderful and needed--the problem is the way the story is written.

After immigrating to the United States with her parents and older brother, Isabel writes letters to her aunt Lupita back home in Mexico. She says, "Here is my first letter in English. I am going to practice my new language by writing to you." She references the English words her
Feb 21, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I read the galley at Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast. I need to re-read it in a quiet place.
Angela Bailey
Sep 29, 2013 Angela Bailey rated it really liked it
Title / Author / Publication Date:
The quiet place. / Sarah Stewart. David Small (ill.). / 2012.

Genre: Fiction.

Format: Picturebook (epistolary story) - print.

Plot summary:
"A little girl moves to the United States from Mexico with her family and writes letters to her aunt in Mexico about her new life" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
moving to a new county, letters, Mexican-American girls, American in the 1950's

Review citation:
"Set in the 1950s, the book contains ex
Oct 30, 2012 Ed rated it it was amazing
Sometimes the combination of author and illustrator is pure magic, and I have always loved when Sarah Stewart and her husband David Small have teamed up. The Gardener is one of my all-time favorites, and I love The Library as well. I think these two make a perfect creative pair, and they have shown it once again in The Quiet Place. The story is charming, and the illustrations are simple, yet fascinating. The foldout pages at the end are my favorite, and I am surprised that this book isn't gettin ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 24, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
Unusual epistolary style, single-sided! The large boxes to make a quiet place are an interesting device, again unusual. The girl is not overly uncomfortable in her new home, and explicit use of the birthday party helps us see the motif of feeling invited. There were so many opportunities for conflict or damage, but the author chose the quiet route and the discomfort remains quietly under the surface like it might for anyone who has moved to a new home. The illustrations are really charming and ...more
Oct 18, 2012 Betsy rated it really liked it
I really, really want to give this book 5 stars, but there are two small things holding me back--if you've read this book, feel free to correct me in a comment!

Here we have a lovely epistolary picture book (like the beloved The Gardener, also by Stewart/Small) which features a young Mexican American emigrating to the U.S. in the 1950s. I love the illustrations, as usual. I love the storyline itself, and the way the book ends is marvelous. The idea of a quiet place in which a young child can find
Jun 18, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This story tells of a girl, Isabel, who moves from Mexico to the United States in the spring and summer of 1957. The text is a series of letters that she writes to her Aunt Lupita who stayed behind in Mexico. This isn't the first time that Stewart has written a book as a series of letters, and I like the format. The Quiet Place refers to a cardboard box house that the girl constructs to work in during the course of the story. She and the other members of her family are each having a difficult ...more
Feb 11, 2013 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I would have loved to give this book more stars. The story is sweet, the illustrations are totally gorgeous, and I really enjoy the epistolary format. But while the emotions and experiences described in the letters are great, the language is hardly believable. The vocabulary and tone seem too old for the character, and it's even less believable because this young girl is talking about her struggles learning English as a second language! Asking kids to bring their favorite word as a birthday gift ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I love the format of this book. It's a great way to introduce kids to letter writing and is also a great book for introducing various forms of diversity to kids with themes that all kids can relate to. Also the idea of having your own special quiet place all your own is one that is such an important part of childhood that many of us experienced. Mine was the bottom of my father's closet that he cleared out so I could put pillows and blankets and tape little pictures to the wall exposed under his ...more
Lovely; I especially like the expressions on Mama's face. David Small has conveyed very subtly that while catering is good work, it is still very much work and she is still very much the paid staff and not an equal. I do like all the colors on the boxes at the end--for once the Quiet Place is not so quiet, but bursting with life.
Oct 03, 2012 Alyson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Retreat to your quiet place and read this book. Take a few tissues with you - you will need them but in the end you will be happy to see the strength and growth of Isabel.
Wonderful to see another work by this author and illustrator. Wonderful!
Ana Romero
Oct 18, 2016 Ana Romero rated it it was amazing
The Quiet Place is about a young immigrant girl that has moved to Chicago from Mexico. The family of four had to leave Auntie Lupita behind and the book consists of letters Isabel writes to her. She expresses how much she misses her and writes about all of the new things she is experiencing in her new home. She talks about how she is shy to make friends at school and how speaking English at school is scary. She explains to her aunt that since there are so many new things around her that the only ...more
Lauren Thompson
The Quiet place is about a young girl who has recently moved to America and misses home. She writes about her adventures in letters to her Aunt Lupita. She helps her mom who is a baker make cakes for neighbors parties. She learns all about the new culture through this. Throughout the story she collects big boxes that she turns into a fort and is used as her quiet place to write her letters to her aunt. In the end she has a birthday party for herself where all the neighbors attend and learn about ...more
Liliana Solorzano
Oct 19, 2016 Liliana Solorzano rated it it was amazing
The quiet place is a fiction book about a young girl named Isabella who moved from Mexico to the United States. She misses home and finds a safe haven in a box where she writes to her Aunt Lupita who stayed back in Mexico. Isabella is having a hard time getting adjusted to her new life and eventually makes new friends by going to work with her mom. Her mom works catering food for parties, which is how she meets so many new friends and starts to feel a little more welcomed but still going back to ...more
Kelsey Vessels
Nov 29, 2016 Kelsey Vessels rated it really liked it
This book could be used in a classroom to teach formatting of letters. This book is written in all letters but is able to tell a story as well. You could create discussions about why the author chose to write in letters and how the letters were beneficial to the story
Amy Forrester
Nov 15, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
It’s 1957 and young Isabel and her family move from Mexico to a new home in the Midwest. Isabel isn’t as confident in her English skills as her wonderful older brother, Chavo, so she practices her new language by writing weekly letters to her Auntie Lupita. Isabel likes her new home, but she is shy and so her family creates a quiet place out of a refrigerator box. Unfortunately the box is blown away by a big storm, but when her mother begins cooking and baking for birthday cakes Isabel is able ...more
Danielle Mootz
Sep 21, 2016 Danielle Mootz rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
We loved the illustrations and storyline.
Susan Rowe
Apr 19, 2016 Susan Rowe rated it really liked it
Picture Storybook

Stewart, Sarah. The Quiet Place. New York: Ferguson Books, 2012. Print.

A girl is moving from Mexico to midwestern United States. She is homesick and trying to learn to speak English. The story is told through letters that Isabel writes to her aunt back home. She is nervous to start school and is trying to figure out the English language. She helps her mom who cooks cakes for local birthday parties and collects big boxes that she uses to make her “quiet place”. At the end, she ha
Jan 07, 2015 Amy added it
Shelves: j-picture-books
The Quiet Place is the story of young Isabel, whose family moves from Mexico to America. The story is told through Isabel’s letters to her Aunt Lupita. She practices her English by telling Aunt Lupita all about life in America – the snow, her mother’s new job, and most of all, her “quiet place.” Isabel needs a safe, quiet place that is all her own, so she claims and old cardboard box that is just the right size to curl up in. Her quiet place gives Isabel a place to read, draw, and daydream, and ...more
Vincent Desjardins
A little girl named Isabel, having just moved with her family to the USA from Mexico, writes to her Aunt and tells her about her new life in the USA. As always, the pictures by David Small are amazing. The fold-out spreads at the end of the book are especially delightful. In the story, Isabel has a hard time adapting to her new life and finds comfort by sitting in a large box where she keeps her toys and books. While sitting inside her box, which she has decorated, she practices her English by ...more
Belinda Holdernesse
Oct 25, 2013 Belinda Holdernesse rated it really liked it
This cute book is about a little girl moving from Mexico with her family to America. Written in letter form, Isabella, documents her experiences to her Auntie Lupita that remains in Mexico. Author, Sarah Stewart, captures Isabella’s feelings and life from inside a box, her quiet place. It shows how she is able to process all that is around her (speaking Spanish at home is safe, speaking English at school is scary) and eventually allowing others into her life and into the box where she feels the ...more
This story begins and ends on the endpapers. Illustrator Small uses these spaces to begin the story before the words.

Readers are introduced to a family in the early hours before sunrise. The small family is leaving somewhere and saying goodbye to a dear person. Soon we learn that they are leaving Mexico and moving the U.S. Readers never learn the exact location of their permanent destination, but it's someplace that has snow the opposite time of the year than in Mexico.

Isabel, the daughter, is h
Ashley Hills
Oct 23, 2013 Ashley Hills rated it it was amazing
Shelves: immigration
“The Quiet Place” taking place in the 1950’s is a collection of letters between Isabel and her Auntie Lupita. Isabel and her family have recently moved to America from Mexico. Isabel journals this experiencing of trying to adapt and accept her new surroundings while still missing home, especially Auntie Lupita. One of the things she misses most is hearing Spanish. As Isabel and her family adjust, Isabel beings to learn and enjoy more and more English. During this transition, Isabel creates her ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a book I am going to save to read to my class on special occasions. The text of the book is letters sent by a young girl (Isabel) to her grandmother after the family leaves their town in Mexico, and relocate to the shores of Lake Michigan. The girl writes about her feelings about leaving her Mexican home and family, learning a new language, meeting a new teacher, and going to a new school. My students will immediately connect with this story because many of them are immigrants from Asia, ...more
Christine Turner
Jan 31, 2013 Christine Turner rated it liked it
When Isabel and her family move to the United States, Isabel misses all the things she left behind in Mexico, especially her aunt Lupita and hearing people speak Spanish. But she also experiences some wonderful new things - her first snow storm and a teacher who does not speak Spanish but has a big smile. Even better, Papa and her brother Chavo help her turn a big box into her own quiet place, where she keeps her books and toys and writes letters to Aunt Lupita. As she decorates and addsmore and ...more
Amber Lovett
Dec 30, 2014 Amber Lovett rated it really liked it
In the 1950s, Isabel and her family move from Mexico to the U.S. to begin a new life in an industrial city in the North. Isabel writes letters to her Aunt in Mexico so that she can practice her English. Her father gives her an empty refrigerator box which she calls her “quiet place.” When the box is ruined in the rain, Isabel gathers empty boxes from the birthday parties she attends with her mother, and builds an even more elaborate quiet place. At the end of the story, Isabel celebrates her own ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Kelly added it
Kelly Wiegand
April 27, 2015
EDL54500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: The Quiet Place

Author: Sarah Stewart

Plot: A young girl, Isabel, and her family are immigrating to the United States from Mexico. She writes her Aunt Lupita to practice her English and update her aunt on how she and her family are transitioning into their new life. At first, Isabel finds solace and comfort in her quiet place with her things surrounding her. But as she makes friends and becomes more comfortable in
3 starred reviews: PW, Booklist, Kirkus

Lovely. Absolutely lovely. And poignant. Beautiful illustrations create a strong sense of place and character. Love, love, love this book. Set in the 1950s, but very appropriate and timely for children today.

"...Small’s fluid paintings do a splendid job of silent storytelling, just as Stewart’s taut narrative is gracefully subdued..."--PW

"...Their poignant, pre-dawn departure starts on the endpapers. Small’s imaginative use of color and masterful variation
Jan 09, 2013 Marika rated it really liked it
We all remember our first refrigerator box. The one that become a space ship, house, or train. In The Quiet Place, Isabel uses the boxes left over from birthday presents to build a quiet place all her own, one that provides security and a way to capture her old home in Mexico. The text is comprised of Isabel's letters to her Aunt Lupita back in Mexico. She uses these letters to practice her English and share the interesting new words she collects. David Small's illustrations add much to the text ...more
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Wife of famed illustrator, David Small, Sarah Stewart has written a number of children's books. She grew up in Texas, and lives in Michigan with her husband.
More about Sarah Stewart...

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