Izzy's Place

by Marc Kornblatt

Angry and scared that his parents fight all the time, ten-year-old Henry Stone is... read more

Angry and scared that his parents fight all the time, ten-year-old Henry Stone is angrier still that his mom and dad have sent him to stay with his grandmother in Indiana for the summer. Henry loves Grandma Martha, but he resents being treated like a little kid. And the recent death of Grandpa Jay leaves him feeling unsettled and sad in his grandmother’s home. Marc Kornblatt’s story about a child dealing with change and loss stands out for the thorniness of his main character. A kid who is generally well behaved and polite, Henry is petulant and prickly. In exchanges with his grandmother, he rudely—sometimes meanly—pushes her away with words. These authentic moments are uncomfortable but refreshingly genuine, important to understanding just how hard of a time Henry is having in coping with recent events in his family and his fears about what is to come. What Henry wants more than anything is reassurance that his parents aren’t getting a divorce. What he has to settle for is the knowledge that life is bigger than sadness and, whatever decision they make, he is loved. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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