Reviews for Izzy's Place


Booklist Reviews 2003 June #1
Gr. 4-7. Ten-year-old Henry Stone would rather not be spending the summer with Grandma Martha in Indiana; it's not the same there since his beloved Grandpa Jay died, but with his parents' not getting along, home's not so great, either. Trying to act as if everything is fine gets harder every day. However, with love and support from Grandma, and an older neighbor, Mr. Fine, Henry learns that although he can't change people and events, he can appreciate who and what he does have, and he can value kind hearts and hope. In straightforward language, Kornblatt writes a realistic, affecting account of the challenges of coming to terms with grief and family difficulties and the process of acceptance and healing. Henry is a likable, dimensional character that kids will relate to, and the problems he faces are sympathetically and sensitively portrayed. A well-written, touching novel, without overt sentimentality, that highlights the importance of giving and receiving understanding and sympathy. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
His parents fighting and contemplating divorce, ten-year-old Henry is sent to his grandmother's for the summer. She is grieving her husband's death while the man next door watches his wife die of the same disease that took their young son years ago. Although the characters are sympathetic, there is simply too much piled onto them for this short novel to sufficiently address. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2003 May #2
Unbalanced by his parent's constant loud arguments, Henry can't stop screaming; the psychiatrist validates his behavior, but agrees that a summer with his grandmother would be therapeutic. Henry's inner turmoil finds no solace, because his beloved grandfather has died recently and his Grandmother's overprotectiveness is not comforting. From his elderly neighbor, who exemplifies a quiet dignity in the face of family tragedy, Henry learns that sorrow can be managed. As he learns to calm himself by juggling, he recognizes that Mr. Fine channels his sorrow through violin practice in a one-room shed dedicated to the memory of his dead son. Henry begins to shake off his depression, as he learns that his efforts make a positive difference in his own life. Character-driven, Henry's acceptance of what he can't change will bring hope to those who feel their home lives are out of control. (Fiction. 8-10) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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School Library Journal Reviews 2003 July
Gr 4-6-Fifth-grader Henry Stone has been sent to visit his grandmother by his parents, who are constantly fighting and who won't tell him whether or not they are getting a divorce. He misses his recently deceased grandfather, who was his primary companion in previous visits. There is nothing special about this plot but the story is told with a simple honesty that will be especially appealing to reluctant readers. Henry's boredom is well described as are his encounters with local bullies. His efforts to learn how to juggle parallel his efforts to juggle the complexities of his life. His reluctant friendship with the man next door who has his own demons to face is a unique way to resolve Henry's feelings of loneliness and rejection. Henry and Mr. Fine reach out to one another slowly; both have reasons to hold back, and it is in this tentative approach to friendship between two unlikely figures that the book has its greatest strength. While not subtle, this is a quiet book about learning to deal with life's hurts and losses.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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