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Brooklyn Bridge
ISBN: 9780312378868
Author: Hesse, Karen/ Sheban, Chris (ILT)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: September 2008
Retail: $17.95    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 84%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: From the incomparable Karen Hesse comes a powerfully evocative and accessible family story, set at the turn of the century, by turns serious, funny, and with a touch of magical realism.

Additional Information
BISAC category: JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / United States / 20th Century
Target Age Group: Age 12-14
Target Grade: Grade 7-9
Grade level: Grade 7-9
Physical Information: 1.00" H x 100.00" L x 5.50" W
Lexile Level: 680
Bargain Category: Middle School, Historical Fiction, High School, Chapter Books
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 124429
Reading Level: 4.2   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 6.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q45115
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Grades 6-8   Point Value: 11.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
In 1903 Brooklyn, fourteen-year-old Joe dreams of Coney Island. Interspersed throughout the story of Joe's family (based on Russian Jews who created the first teddy bear) are third-person segments that poetically describe homeless children living under the Brooklyn Bridge. The narrative includes tightly interwoven elements of multiple genres--adventure, romance, comedy, drama, ghost story--without compromising authenticity of plot or character. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2008 #5)
Fourteen-year-old Joe has an eventful summer in 1903 Brooklyn. His parents are embarking on a new business, his younger sister Emily is opening a neighborhood library in part of the family store, his little brother Benjamin will not go anywhere without his new stuffed bear, his aunts refuse to leave their crowded Manhattan neighborhood, and all Joe can dream about is experiencing the excitement of Coney Island. The story, told mainly through Joe's voice, convincingly conveys the dilemmas of young adolescence: worrying about the opinions of peers, seeking independence from parents, discovering loyalties. Over the course of the novel, Joe learns about the hardships suffered by his Jewish relatives back in Russia and why they were determined to succeed in America. Interspersed throughout the story of Joe's increasingly prosperous family (based on the Michtoms, a real Russian Jewish family who were the creators of the first "teddy bear") are third-person segments that poetically describe the homeless children who live under the Brooklyn Bridge. The narrative includes tightly interwoven elements of multiple genres -- adventure, romance, comedy, ghost story, and family drama -- without ever compromising the authenticity of the plot or the characters. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 September #1)

Inspired by facts surrounding the inventors of the teddy bear, Newbery Medalist Hesse (Out of the Dust ) applies her gift for narrative voice to this memorable story set in 1903 Brooklyn. Fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom's parents, Jewish immigrants from Russia, are the envy of the neighborhood when their toy bears make them prosperous. The principal narrator, Joe, copes with the ironies of their fortune: "Now it's like I got some special kind of power. Only I'm not doing anything good with it." Resented by his former friends, Joe works in the bear business, gets crushes and longs to go to brand-new Coney Island. Interspersed throughout are brief profiles of street children who make their home under the Brooklyn Bridge, haunted by a ghost they refer to as the Radiant Boy. Deftly paced story lines about Joe's extended family indirectly raise questions about different types of bridges: those from the old country to America, those that cross generations, those that link the unlikeliest individuals. Not until the final chapters does Hesse produce the connection between Joseph and the street children with their ghost, and then the novel explodes with dark drama before its eerie but moving resolution. Ages 10–14. (Sept.)

[Page 54]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 September)

Gr 6–9— In 1903, school lets out for summer vacation, and Joseph Michtom dreams of visiting Coney Island. But the 14-year-old's plans have to be placed on hold while he helps out in his father's toy-making business. The family stumbles on an idea that leads to the creation of the first teddy bear and achieves financial success. Set in Brooklyn and narrated by Joseph, the novel portrays the joys and heartaches in the lives of Russian-Jewish immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Alternating with this story line is a parallel narrative devoted to abandoned children who forge a life for themselves under the shelter of the Brooklyn Bridge. Readers will have a hard time putting down this compelling story.—Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

[Page 184]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.