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Shoeshine Girl

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Who ever heard of a shoeshine girl?

The last thing Sarah Ida wants to do is spend the summer with her Aunt Claudia. But when her parents send her away because of problems at home, that is exactly what she has to do. With no allowance and no fun to be had, Sarah Ida decides to look for a job. But who will hire a ten year old? Al, the shoeshine man, will!

Sarah loves her job,
Paperback, 96 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 05, 2011 Josiah rated it liked it
I love the writing of Clyde Robert Bulla. From the first time I picked up and read The Chalk Box Kid, I was enchanted by the sensitive ease of the stories that he has to tell, of the way that the tender caring inside all of his good characters (and even some of the bad) shows through like a watermark on every page. There's something really magical about reading any Clyde Robert Bulla book, but I have to say that Shoeshine Girl is arguably his magnum opus.

We aren't given a lot of detail about t
Books Kids Like
Oct 09, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing
Sarah Ida's father is away from home quite often, and Sarah and her mother don't get along very well. Sarah feels that her parents don't care because they don't pay any attention to her. However, when she starts running with the wrong crowd at school, they take notice. Sarah's parents decide that she should spend the summer with her Aunt Claudia in Palmville. Sarah resents her parents' decision and feels that they simply want to get rid of her. So, she goes to Palmville with a ready-made chip on ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Lindz rated it really liked it
Sarah Ida has just been sent to spend the summer at her Aunt Claudia's house. Everyone is against her since her friend was caught shoplifting. She's not allowed an allowance because she had spent all her pocket money at home, and she gets in trouble when she convinces her new friend to give her all her savings. Infuriated, she starts working for Al shining shoes, thinking her aunt will feel bad that her niece has been reduced to shining shoes in order to get pocket money. Instead to her surprise ...more
Oct 29, 2014 Shuwen rated it really liked it
I've read this book more than once and I still love it. It's has a great story line and I really like it. The part I really love is that when Sarah starting working at the shoeshine store with Al, the old man, she was really not get used to it and feels weird. The part I don't like is that when Al is hit by a car while crossing the street and bought some supplies. It was sad, I mean, for me it was. I really love the writer of this book how she writes the settings, details and the dialogue that s ...more
Sep 25, 2010 PJ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classroom-books
This is a wonderful read aloud for third grade on up. Sarah Ida has a bad attitude in the beginning of the book. She is determined to go out and find a job to make money but what she finds is a good friend. She learns about responsibility and trust. The ending is very touching and a book that you'll remember.
Jan 07, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters of the story really came alive for me. I would like to know more about them.
Read for the 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.
Laura Verret
Dec 19, 2012 Laura Verret rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
Sarah Ida didn’t want to come to Palmville to live with her aunt. But then, she didn’t really want to stay with her parents. She doesn’t want anything or anyone except her freedom; her right to wear what she wants, do what she wants, and be friends with who she wants. But it seems like all of the adults in her world are determined to keep these things from her.

And now, Aunt Claudia is refusing to give her any money. Wants to know what she’ll do with it. Bah! She’ll show her aunt. She’ll go and g
Sep 21, 2016 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this with my 5th graders, and we all loved it! It was great to start discussions about character development (Sarah Ida develops so much throughout the story) and at the very end, symbolism.
Ja'preece Lilly
Oct 09, 2013 Ja'preece Lilly rated it liked it
The shoe shine girl is about a girl who works with a man who owns a shoe shine stand.One day the man gets hit by a car while they were working.So that day she ran the stand all by herself.And by the time the man got out of the hospital she was basically running the stand herself.So when the end of the story hits he gives up his life long dream and hands the shop down to her,so he could "retire".

The genre of this book is realistic fiction.A thing i liked about the book is how they have a girl run
Feb 11, 2012 Phoebe rated it liked it
Despite a few dated elements this brief chapter book stands up pretty well for contemporary readers. 10-year-old Sarah Ida's parents send her to live with her aunt Claudia as a preventive measure after her friend gets caught shoplifting. Sarah Ida is angry and hurt, especially after her aunt tells her that she is not to have any allowance, as per Sarah Ida's mother. To her credit, Sarah Ida works out her own problem by getting a job at the corner shoeshine stand, and discovers some positive thin ...more
Aunt Edie
May 24, 2016 Aunt Edie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The plumbers turned off the water without warning so I did what everybody does (don't they?) - I ran to the library to pee. Air conditioning and running water. Great combo. While there I spotted a sign saying that books on the sale shelf were now ten cents. Ten cents? Of course I had to stop and take a look. I picked up ten books to make an even dollar. All of them older books I could take apart without feeling too guilty for various craft projects. I picked up Shoeshine Girl specifically for th ...more
May 03, 2008 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
With bad attitudes, no manners, offensive behaviors, why would anyone want to hire Sarah Ida? Sarah Ida was send to Palmsville, to live with her Aunt Cluadia for a while, because she can't get along with her parents. Sarah Ida wants money, but Aunt Cluadia wasnot allow to give her any. So she decide to look for a job and thought that way her Aunt would feel bad and just give her money, but she was wrong. At last, she found a job, working as a shoeshine girl for Al. She expect every customers to ...more
Vanessa Esparza
Dec 31, 2013 Vanessa Esparza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love
what I think about the book is this girl named sarah id all she cared about was money she went to her aunt Claudia house to spend time with her.sarah id told her aunt if she can borrow money and her aunt said no because all sarah id cares about is money.sarah id told her aunt if she can work somewhere so sarah id ran out of the house to go look for a job and sarah id found a store that said helpwanted. sarah id when in side to see if she can work there and sarah id saw a old man cleaning shoes s ...more
Summer vacation is what every child looks forward to at the end of the school year. Having fun with your neighborhood friends is what it’s normally about, but not for Sarah Ida. She’s got problems at home, but is sent away to spend her summer with Aunt Claudia. Sarah Ida has no fun and no money to spend. She takes it upon herself to find a job; with the shoeshine man.

Hardworking Sarah Ida encounters unfortunate events and may have to close her little shoeshine shop. Children can relate or get a
Jun 08, 2013 Kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school, kids
Although a short book this is a powerful look at what makes "family", the relative importance of money, friendships and so much more. This is a deeply moving story that I would give to my highest readers in third grade simply because of its content. Every child should read this, especially as they are becoming their self centered selves. It will open eyes, and perhaps make them appreciate what they have versus always asking for that new shiny thing that a short while later has little significanc ...more
Megan Knippenberg
Sep 29, 2013 Megan Knippenberg rated it liked it
This book is most suitable for 3rd graders. I wasn't overly impressed with the character development. At the beginning, the main character is a hurting child going through a rebellious stage. After working for a shoeshiner, she learns how to better cope with the things around her. All in all, I felt that her switch in personality was not fully developed, and I was having a hard time believing that the change was genuine.

This would be a good book to broaden the real-world knowledge of 21st centu
Jan 16, 2012 Twyla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: auryn-s-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anastasia Tuckness
I was amazed at the masterful pacing, characterization, and storyline of this fairly short and simple book. There is a reason Clyde Robert Bulla wrote so many books and so many are still read today. Families will find plenty to talk about with the themes in this book, and everyone will be waiting to find out what happens next.
Lydia Rose
Apr 29, 2015 Lydia Rose rated it liked it
This book is about a bratty little girl who goes to stay with a relative. When the relative doesn't give her money, she goes out and finds a job. She finds one at a shoeshine place, and at first she doesn't really like the job. But later on, she gets a little nicer, and a little nicer.

It's a good book. I liked it.
Sep 21, 2015 Meredith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile

This is the first chapter book I remember reading on my own. I purchased it to add to the Little Free Library my dad built for the park that used to be the location of my elementary school.
Dec 30, 2008 HeavyReader rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of girl power
This is one of the books I read again and again as a kid. I'm pretty sure that I owned a copy. I liked that the main character was a spunky, smart, clever girl. That's about all I can remember about it.
Oct 05, 2010 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 1-4
Shelves: library-book
Shoeshine Girl is about a 9-year-old girl that gets a job at a shoeshine stand because her aunt won't give her allowance. It's a really easy book (2nd to 3rd grade level), but I really enjoyed it.
Jul 20, 2009 Jim rated it it was amazing
suprized me. a twelveyear old girl w/lots of emotional problems gets sent to aunt cladia's in the country to get her life straight. she ends up getting a job and self respect and respect for others. really thoght this would be preachy, instead, a really nice read.
Julie Suzanne
Realistic fiction at a low reading level (grades 2-4, I imagine)but a good read for middle school kids, too. So this ended up being perfect for kids who are in 7th grade, have a 3rd grade reading level and don't want to walk around reading Magic Treehouse.
A nice story.
Rena Sherwood
This was a book my parents bought for me when I was a kid. I do not remember much from this book, but I do remember that I liked the protagonist and her, "I want money in my pocket!" attitude.
Nov 01, 2014 Bree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bulla says so much with so few words -- an excellently written story; my 10yo son enjoyed it very much
It's this girl name Sarah Ida her mom and dad sent her with her with her aunt Claudia because they could not handdel her then she meets
Apr 04, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
I love books for young readers with good messages. Anna asked me to read this because she loved it. Great story, great lesson, and perfect for even really young readers.
Kitty Tomlinson
Nov 09, 2009 Kitty Tomlinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Wonderful children's book that tells of Ida Ruth who is angry about spending the summer with her aunt. But when she gets a job as a shoeshine girl her life turns around.
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Born to be a Writer
Almost as far back as he can remember, Clyde Robert Bulla wanted to write. Born on a farm in a small town in Missouri, Mr. Bulla's first school was a one-room country schoolhouse. One day his teacher asked each first grade student what he or she would do with a thousand dollars. Young Clyde answered that he would buy a table. His classmates laughed heartily, and his teacher was
More about Clyde Robert Bulla...

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