Reviews for Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself : Library Edition


School Library Journal Reviews 2005 September

Gr 5-7 -The indomitable Sally J. Freedman proves her timelessness in this recording that is skillfully and charmingly narrated by author Judy Blume (Yearling, pap. 1986). It is 1947 and the imaginative Sally is 10 years old. Older brother Douglas has been sickly for some time, so the family moves from New Jersey to Miami Beach's warmer climate. Sally's beloved father stays behind to continue working as a dentist. The family is warmly and realistically portrayed. Mrs. Freedman's excessive caution and worrying clearly cause difficulties for her husband and children. The relationship between Douglas and Sally is not so warmly portrayed, with the usual sniping between siblings. Sally spends the winter making friends, getting into trouble, and trying to prove that an elderly man in their Miami apartment building is really Hitler in disguise. She frequently thinks about Ma Fanny's sister and niece who were both killed in Dachau. References to Jewish traditions are explained. Sally spends much of her time dreaming up stories in which she is a detective, movie star, or volunteer for American postwar efforts-and always the heroine. Blume's narration is spirited and perfectly paced. While she doesn't give each character a different voice, her tone differentiates them. Clearly there is much of Judy Blume in the main character and her affection for Sally shines through. The novel is as pertinent today as it was when first published, making it a must have for most libraries.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY

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