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Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2009
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Countryuntil her family decided to stay.
Now it's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her fair complexion and blonde hair make her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent. What's worse, her grandma's losing her marbles and Mama's going crazy over Uncle Nick's ugly blue villa, which she can see from every window.
The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J. but factor in language, culture shock, and a bad case of homesickness, and A. J.'s going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. It will take a catastropheand a few wise words from a friendfor A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.
Renee Riva has been writing humorous stories since she won a writing contest in second grade. Her two previous titles Izzy the Lizzy and Guido's Gondola both published by WaterBrook Press in May of 2005 and met with instant successover 4000 sold in four months. Riva is a former greeting card verse writer as well as a speaker for women's groups and aspiring writers. She and her husband reside in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters.
Mary Mirandona5 Stars Out Of 5Loved it!September 5, 2012Mary MirandonaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I thoroughly enjoyed this book told from a teenager's perspective. It was bright and funny. A nice break from my usual fare of mystery and suspense.
Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5December 29, 2009Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: femaleA few years have gone by since Saving Sailor. A few tortuous years where poor A.J. Degulio has been forced to live in Tuscany, a half a world away from her beloved dog, Sailor, her friend Danny, and the beauty of Indian Island, Idaho. Sigh! Sure, one might think that living in Italy would be wonderful. Not A.J. In Italy, she is a blond, Yankee Barbie doll, the punch line of every joke at school. To make matters worse, her family is crazy, as usual.Love, love, love Rene Riva. Its rare that a book makes me laugh out loud. During this one, my husband kept shooting me weird looks, wondering if I was loosing my mind. Nope. Just reading Taking Tuscany and loving it! The whole time Im reading it, Im dying that I dont have Heading Home waiting on my bedside table. Ug! Rene, please dont make us wait too long for book three. I need to read the real-life-fiction version of Moon over Milan.
Chuck Woller5 Stars Out Of 5June 5, 2009Chuck WollerWhat a wonderful book! And on multiple levels. Saving Sailors and Taking Tuscany can be fully enjoyed by the 9-10 crowd, the 12-15 crowd, and the creaky/aging adult crowd like me! There's so much to this book. It really is about family. Family. The true value of family that today's culture and media treat so lightly and with such ridicule. In fact, I was thinking that the character of the rich, spoiled Annalisa is very much like our culture: today's kids have all of the STUFF (cellphones, ipods, their own DVD players, formally organized soccer leagues that you just gotta belong to, cap & gown graduations from preschool with expensive photography, etc) but none of what their spirits cry for. Renee Riva has crafted a story with such clear imagery that it can make you cry just reading it and wishing that Sophia and Sonny and all the clan were everyone's family today. That everyone could have that. Because if you grow up that way, you'll look for that same kind of person to marry and you'll raise the same kind of family. This is the value of Taking Tuscany. Today's kids can read it and really really reeeeeeeeeeely feel what it's like to have this kind of family and how wonderful it is. The way the story is told can get right into a kid's mind and let them feel it all. The fears, the anger, the hope, the laughter. It sure got into my mind...we're not THAT far away from that time that we can't remember it like it was yesterday!Frankly, by reading Taking Tuscany, many kids from divorced homes will realize how much they missed by all the havoc in the homes they grew up in. But Renee's book has given them a road map of feelings that can make them say, "That's the kind of person I want to marry and that's how I'm going to raise my kids if I ever have any!" These two books can make a big fat difference to a whole lot of kids who have never known the riotous hubbub of a 2-parent/multiple-kids family.