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Month in review

Reviews:
Abramo's Gift by Donald Greco
American Rifle: A Biography by Alexander Rose
Birdsongs by Betsy Franco and Steve Jenkins
The Boy Who Sang for Others by Michael Meddor
Catamount by Marc Laidlaw
Changeling by Dean Whitlock
Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt
Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes
Does a Kanagroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
An Elvish Sword of Great Antiquity by Jim Aikin
The Elephant Who Liked to Smash Small Cars by Jean Merrill
Fright Night Flight by Laura Krauss Melmed
The Gift of the Deer by Helen Hoover
The Guardian by Jeffrey Konvitz
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg
I Choose You by Tracey West
Legs Talk by D. E. Boone
Llamas in Pajamas by Teddy Slater
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
100 Years of California Cooking by Martha Lee
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Nathan Hale and Dean Hale
The Savage by David Almond and Dave McKean
Shadow of the Valley by Fred Chappell
Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton
When Boston Won the World Series by Bob Ryan

Don Quixote:
Don Quixote: Judge a Book By Its Cover
Try to Remember
Divide and Conquer
Sancho's Big Score

Ulysses:
Episode 1 - Telemachus: Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy

Miscellaneous:
Don't Let the Pigeon Do an Interview

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Abramo's Gift

Abramo's GiftAbramo's Gift: 02/02/09

Abramo's Gift by Donald Greco is the story of a friendship between two immigrant families, one Italian and one Irish. All of this takes place in Youngstown Ohio at the turn of the last century. Abramo, the hero of the novel, faces racism in his new home and carries with him the demons of his past: a civil war and the deaths of his wife and daughter.

Abramo's Gift is what I would call a situational drama. Abramo Cardone's tragic life, his work at the Irish owned steel mill and the way in which he meets Molly are all there to keep the emotional tension tightly wound.

Throughout all of this drama and tragedy, Abramo is a likeable chap. He keeps his temper. He's quick and willing to learn English. He wants to make his uncle proud and do good for his friends. If anything he's too good and too perfect. In other words, he's a Marty Stu.

Hugh, Abramo's Irish-American counterpart, caught my attention more so than Abramo. He's not as perfect as Abramo. He's skeptical and prone to moments of prejudice. He's also aware of his weaknesses and is willing to push himself to move past his problems. Much of Abramo's good luck in his new home comes from Hugh's good will.

The novel is a good start with an interesting historical setting and context but it could have been more. There are very few surprises in the novel. It follows a pretty standard script from start to finish. For what it is, it's perfectly adequate. It just could and should have better.

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