Book Review | The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz
by Laura Toffler-Corrie

Score: 3.0

© 2010, Roaring Brook Press.

In an effort to distract Amy from her sadness over losing her best friend to a move to the heartland (Kansas), a caring teacher creates a class assignment involving the diaries of 19th century immigrants. Not only does Amy immerse herself in the project, but she enlists a kind, elderly neighbor, who recruits her Hasidic nephew to join her in researching the life of the immigrant. Ultimately the trio, plus the school “Adonis,”  wind up uncovering a remarkable secret and a historical treasure based on the diary’s contents. All the while, Amy learns a few things about friendship, romance, Judaism and herself.

The story unfolds through emails written between Amy and her best friend, Callie. Although we never see Callie’s responses, we can guess them by how Amy reacts in her emails back. The writing is insightful, appealing and a real look into the mind of a high school teen – rollercoaster emotions, discordant logic, unbelievable realism and all.

Grade Level: 5th – 9th

Ages: 11-15 years

©2011 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by my local public library.
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