SPAGHETTI PARK by DyAnne DiSalvo

SPAGHETTI PARK

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

DiSalvo (A Castle on Viola Street, 2001, etc.) puts the spotlight on community again in this tightly woven tale about a likable urban neighborhood with deep roots. Angelo, the determined narrator, learns how to play bocce from his grandfather in a nearby run-down park. “Little by little our park became a place for neighborhood troublemakers,” he explains and sadly describes the teenagers with their boom boxes, the whipped-up swings, and the graffiti that have chased most of the community away. Angelo’s frustration turns quickly into inspiration as he takes his plan to the next meeting of the local community group, where his father belongs. After some debate, the group agrees to raise the money to build a bocce court and the neighbors join together to paint over the graffiti and garden. Even some of the “tough kids” help. But when the bocce court is almost finished, Angelo and his grandfather show up to find all their work vandalized. Most of the neighbors give up, but Angelo, with his family behind him, perseveres. Then to their surprise, one of the “tough” teenagers rallies the others to repair the damage. The heart-felt prose is flecked with Italian words from the older men who watch the game and tell exaggerated stories that Angelo refers to as “spaghetti benders.” Angelo’s grandfather and the other supporting characters read a bit thin, but the straightforward illustrations are cheerful and serve the story well. Those nostalgic for bocce will enjoy reading aloud to younger generations and bocce rules are even included on the back page. A no-nonsense narrative about sticking with it. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2002
ISBN: 0-8234-1682-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




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