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Chelsea learns she is perfectly human
If Chelsea Garing likes anything better than school, it's church, especially when she gets the chance to shine. Unfortunately, Chelsea can't perform perfectly every time. One day, when she's serving as acolyte, her candlelighter unexpectedly goes out. Another day, when she's acting a role from the Good Samaritan story in Sunday school, annoying Danny Repetti plows into her. Why her friend Naomi Goldberg doesn't find Danny unbearable is beyond Chelsea. During fourth-grade gym, Danny makes a remark about Hanukkah that Chelsea is sure has offended Naomi -- yet it hasn't! A much more serious matter perplexes Chelsea: how can God let people die?
Chelsea Garing may not always be at her best for God or man, but she learns to accept everyone's shortcomings -- including her own -- in this thoughtful, funny portrait of a child who loves her life at church. Warm, lively drawings by Jacqueline Rogers complement the story.
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Claudia Mills is the author of many children's books. Her last chapter book, 7 X 9 = Trouble!, was an ALA Notable Book. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Jacqueline Rogers is a veteran illustrator of children's books. She lives in Chatham, New York.
Gr. 3-5. Everything about her church seems quite perfect to Chelsea. Her ideal of perfection takes her only so far, however. Chelsea is mortified when the flame on her candlelighter goes out and when she rings the wrong bell in the hand-bell choir, but it takes an honest word from her best friend, Naomi, to make Chelsea realize that by tattling on her nemesis, she has made a more fundamental mistake. Unlike most fiction for children, this story clearly shows the importance and place of religion in everyday life. Though Christianity is featured, it is not held above other religions. One of the protagonists, Naomi, is a Jewish girl who snatches Chelsea back from the brink of prissiness by challenging her with a different perspective on her actions. Even this is handled realistically, for Chelsea resents the interference and initially rejects Naomi as well as her point of view. Illustrated with drawings (not seen in finished form), this has more depth than the usual chapter book and more references to church activities than most readers will come across in a month of Sundays. Carolyn Phelan
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2004. Condition: New. Jacqueline Rogers (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0374312443
Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110374312443