The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really wished I'd liked this more, but there were too many things that I think the author tried to do at the same time for it to work. Take, for example, Gianna's procrastination/inability to organize. I thought we'd get some AD/HD information, but no. Or perhaps her mother was afraid that with Nonna showing signs of Alzheimers, that Gianna was acting a little too like Nonna? Again, no.
The leaf identification project really seemed interesting, and I wish more information about the different types of leaves had been incorporated. Gianna's problems with Bianca seemed very real, as did her not talking to anyone about them (although it was hinted at the Coach knew about them - in which case, why didn't Coach actually do or say anything to cheer Gianna up?). The poetry was wonderful, but again, snippets were doled out.
As I said, just too much going on for this book to really work for me. Younger readers (say, 5th or 6th graders) will probably have fewer problems with this.
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