Trudi & Pia (Anne Schwartz Books)

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9780689846830: Trudi & Pia (Anne Schwartz Books)
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Many nights the dwarf girl, Trudi, fell asleep hoping that her body would stretch itself overnight, that she'd wake up and be the size of other girls her age. Trudi doesn't know anybody like her. No one with short arms that can't reach coat hooks, or short legs that dangle in chairs; no one small enough to look into her eyes. No one, that is, until she meets Pia at the circus. Pia is a lion tamer -- strong and fearless and, most important, a dwarf like Trudi. When Pia asks for a volunteer to step into the ring, Trudi doesn't hesitate. And together, they weave tales of a magical island where people are little and never lonely. After the enchantment ends, Pia shares a secret with Trudi: Feeling that you belong starts with loving yourself. Adapted from Ursula Hegi's best-selling novel Stones from the River -- and perfectly paired with Giselle Potter's poignant illustrations -- this moving story of a girl's search for acceptance captures what it feels like to be different...and then what it feels like to realize that you're not.

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About the Author:

Ursula Hegi is the author of eight critically acclaimed adult books, including the best-selling novel Stones from the River, from which Trudi and Pia is adapted. She is also the author of Intrusions, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Salt Dancers, Tearing the Silence, The Vision of Emma Blau, and Hotel of the Saints. Ms. Hegi lives in New York State.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3-Trudi, a dwarf, feels lonely and isolated. She dreams of growing and during the day tries to stretch herself by hanging from door frames and tree limbs. At the circus, she meets Pia, an animal tamer and a dwarf like herself. She volunteers to join her new friend in the ring, and together they tell a story about a wonderful, magical island where only little people live. When Trudi visits the woman in her trailer, Pia talks to her about feeling linked to all the other dwarfs scattered throughout the world, and gives her some practical advice for dealing with the people who surround her. Adapted from Hegi's adult novel Stones from the River (Scribner, 1995), the story is well written and contains some dramatically effective imagery. Hegi creates a great deal of empathy for her characters, marred slightly by the fact that they in turn mock the "big" people: "To Pia, long arms were ugly, long legs unsteady. Tall people looked odd, too far from the ground." It is also unfortunate that the only other dwarf Trudi encounters is a circus performer, reinforcing an old stereotype of where people with non-mainstream physical traits end up. For the most part, however, this sensitive story deals with a subject not frequently found in books for this audience. Potter's signature gouache illustrations have their usual quirky appeal and blend well with the tale.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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