Monday, January 22, 2007

The Road to Paris

Grimes, Nikki. 2006. THE ROAD TO PARIS. New York: Putman. ISBN 0399245375 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-8]

Removed from her home and her alcoholic mother, Paris has been sent from one bad foster home to another. Her brother Malcolm has always been with her, but now they are separated because he stole money from their last foster mother so that they could run away after she beat Paris. Her new family seems okay. The other foster kids living with the Lincolns seem happy. Slowly Paris begins to trust them and becomes close to one of her foster brothers. Despite being the only biracial child in school, she also makes friends. The choir director at the church she attends with the Lincolns discovers her marvelous voice and asks her to sing the solo at the Easter Sunday service. Paris finds that she really is happy, despite missing her brother. And then her mother calls. She wants to visit Paris; she wants Paris and Malcolm to come back home.

Nikki Grimes’s writing is almost lyrical in this moving story about families and about discovering who you are and where you belong. Paris is an engaging and strong heroine who learns to “keep God in her pocket” and to trust herself.

Engage readers in a discussion about overcoming problems and developing self esteem. The book could also be used as part of a discussion about nontraditional families.

Other novels about families:
Lupica, Mike. MIRACLE ON 49TH STREET. ISBN 0399244883
Werlin, Nancy. RULES OF SURVIVAL. ISBN 0803730012
Wolfson, Jill. WHAT I CALL LIFE. ISBN 0805076697

By Janet Hilbun

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