Eleven-year-old Joseph deeply wishes that his mother could learn how to read, since her inability to read directions or street signs has complicated their life considerably.
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Grade 3-6-- While most 11-year-olds yearn for hockey skates or soccer balls, Joseph's greatest wish is for his mother to be able to read. As the oldest child of a hardworking father who juggles two jobs, he feels the pressure to help his mother cope with ordinary tasks. She cannot read simple directions and can only identify products that have matching pictures. She resolves to get a job but can't deciper the bus schedule and becomes lost, renewing her determination to tackle her reading deficiencies. At first, Joseph reluctantly acts as her tutor, but becomes resentful and ultimately directs her to an adult literacy class where she meets others who share her same travails. Radin portrays a contemporary issue in an honest, yet gentle voice and delineates the tension that evolves between mother and son. While the subject of illiteracy was touched upon in a sensitive manner in Muriel Stanek's My Mom Can't Read (Albert Whitman, 1986), this thought-provoking title clearly defines and expounds upon the intricate problem. Ray's soft pencil sketches have simple lines and little animation. --Debra S. Gold, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The fact that sixth-grader Joseph's mother can't read is not just an inconvenience to her--it makes it almost impossible for her to get a job, since she can't fill out forms or negotiate public transportation. Meanwhile, Dad works two night jobs to make ends meet, and Mom depends on Joseph for everything from reading letters from school to, finally, teaching her to read- -which he tries dutifully to do, even though he doesn't know the best way to begin and the task seems to monopolize all his time. Discovering a literacy program at the library and persuading Mom to go helps the whole family: While Mom acquires self-respect, new friends, and the skills she needs, Joseph is freed from adult responsibilities and reclaims time for his own friends and school work. Simply told, without great literary skill but with well- organized details that are touching in their authenticity. A fine, realistic early chapter book that would also be appropriate for readers in an adult literacy class. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 7-12) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Pu, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110027756416
Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0027756416 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1013438
Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0027756416