Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

October 23, 2006

United Tates of America

by Paula Danziger
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Karen

United Tates of America begins with Sarah Kate "Skate" Tate finishing her first day of middle school. There are a lot of changes happening in Skate's life...new school, new friends, and new activities all at once. It seems very scary and sometimes Skate longs for elementary school when life was less complicated and more predictable. The biggest change of all comes with the death of Skate's much loved Great Uncle Mort (GUM). The entire Tate family misses him dearly and Skate remembers his advice, "The future is not to be feared but to be explored and celebrated". Instead of worrying about how different her life is from last year she realizes that changes are not the end of something but can mean a new beginning or adventure. The one constant in Skate's life is her scrapbooking hobby and Danziger's scrapbook art is a great addition. Despite some serious issues, the story is upbeat and hopeful. Both girls and boys will identify with Skate's situation whether it's adjusting to a new school or a death in the family.


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