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The Paper House
ISBN: 9781459800519
Author: Peterson, Lois
Publisher: Orca Book Pub
Published: April 2012
Retail: $7.95    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 62%
Binding Type: Library Binding
Annotation: Growing up in the slums of Kibera outside Nairobi, ten-year-old Safiyah sells things she finds at the dump to make a living and finds the pictures in the magazines inspirational.
Additional Information
Target Grade: 4-6
Grade level: 4-6
Physical Information: 0.25" H x 25.00" L x 5.00" W
Bargain Category: Animals, Art/Music, Chapter Books, Geography, Growing Up, Middle School, Social Issues, Upper Elementary
Grade level(s): 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 July)

Gr 3–5—When readers first encounter 10-year-old Safiyah, she is digging through piles of garbage, searching for pictures from old magazines in the Kibera slum just outside Nairobi. These pictures will serve a dual function: plugging the holes in the hut Safiyah shares with her sick grandmother and decorating its outside walls in a mosaic illustrating their family history. Neighbors and friends come together around the mural, telling their own stories of loss and displacement. The mural even attracts the attention of a local teacher, who secures an art scholarship for Safiyah, who has never been able to afford school. Young American readers will identify with many of the protagonist's daily problems (fights with friends, frustration with relatives), while challenges she faces (searching for potable water, finding medical aid for her grandmother) will educate them about life in poverty-stricken Kibera. There is an unfortunate lack of books for young readers about this part of the world, but Peterson's lackluster plotting and underdeveloped characters keep The Paper House from reaching past clichés to begin to fill this void.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR

[Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.