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THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas Kirkus Star

THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD

By Donna Freitas

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-36087-0
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Antonia Labella is a typical parochial schoolgirl, complete with plaid skirts and knee socks, but for years she’s hoped the Vatican would make her something much more: a saint. She’d happily settle for being the saint of figs or even pasta-making. Antonia figures if there’s a patron saint of accounting, why not? When not cultivating an encyclopedic knowledge of the saints, she swoons over hottie Andy Rottelini and pines for her first kiss. Freitas infuses Antonia’s quirky narration with crisp depictions of daily life in Federal Hill, a close-knit, Italian-American neighborhood in Rhode Island. Readers hear heavy accents, smell simmering tomato sauces and feel the ever-present pull of Catholicism. Antonia’s comedic treatment of the four big Italian obsessions—love, family, food and religion—will give teens insight into a rich, warm and complicated culture. Even non-Italian, non-Catholic readers will relate to Antonia as she struggles with an overbearing mom and gets giddy just thinking about landing her kiss. Like good homemade pasta, this satisfying novel balances lightness with substance and leaves teens wanting another serving. (Fiction. 12 & up.)