Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson -OPTIONAL

Larson, Kirby The Friendship Doll, 208 pgs. Delacorte Books for Young Readers , 2011. $9.59. (Rating: G in all categories)
An interesting piece of historical fiction, this book starts in the 1920’s, when over fifty Japanese dolls, called Ambassadors of Friendship, were sent to the United States. This is the story of one of those dolls –Miss Kanagawa, as she encounters children through the decades, and finds she can communicate with some of them. Each section of the book features the dolls encounter a new child, each in a different time period, such as the depression, and offering her advice.
I realize the doll is used as a thread to tie together the unique stories of each child. However, I must say that it just plain creeped me out - imaging this sentient doll trapped in a box for long periods of time, just waiting (even with good intentions) to influence a susceptible child. That being said, the individual stories of the children in the various time periods were wonderful. They were well written, engaging, and featured just enough ‘history’ to set the tone without overriding the voice of the character. This might be worth purchasing just for that component, especially if you want to represent elementary age children during the early to mid 1900’s.
ELEMENTARY –OPTIONAL Reviewer: Stephanie MLS graduate.

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