BUTTERFLIES AND LIZARDS, BERYL AND ME by Ruth Lercher Bornstein

BUTTERFLIES AND LIZARDS, BERYL AND ME

Age Range: 8 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Living off spoonfuls of peanut butter and an occasional dented can of peas, Charley knows what it’s like to be poor. Times are hard and her mother is lucky to find work at all, even if the hours are long and the work is difficult. Feeling frightened and forgotten, Charley begins to explore her new home. Passing the gate of an old house, she sees an old woman rocking on her front porch, clutching a teddy bear and singing to herself. Charley’s convinced that the woman must be crazy, but her curiosity and the promise of graham crackers convince her to get to know Beryl a little better. Even after her mother warns her to stay away from the “pathetic old woman,” Charley cannot resist the lure of her new friend. Somewhere between working in the garden, drinking tea, and watching the sunset, Beryl teaches Charley that “all of us are poor, beautiful creatures.” With this new empathy, Charley can finally see beyond her mother’s feeble attempts to live inside a glossy magazine photo or her father’s inability to care for his family. In the impoverished world of the 1930s, Charley learns to find wealth all around her. A gentle story that ensnares while it enriches. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7614-5118-8
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2002




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