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Summary: Emily Elizabeth Davis has known her destiny her whole life. She was named for Emily Dickinson, and all of the important events in her life were recorded next to one of Dickinson’s poems. Emily was convinced that the Collection of Poems held the key to finding her father. Emily’s life was in that book … until her cousin Mortie accidentally gave it to Goodwill. Convinced that losing the book would upset her destiny, Emily, Mortie, and her best friend Wavey visit every bookstore in town trying to find it. When they strike out, Destiny reveals that she has another lesson for the trio. This is a coming of age story for pre-teens and teens.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 10 and up
Reading Level: 5.1
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This book came as a surprise. I loved The Year the Swallows Came Early from cover to cover. This one took a little more work and It took me a while to get into the story. Emily is a great character, and I loved her voice; but her exchanges with other characters — particularly Wavey — left me dizzy. Sometimes dialogue can be too short. I have to say, though, that I loved the conversation in Haiku between Emily and Connor. Brilliant!
Pros: Everything about this book is poetic — from the main character’s name, to the poetry unit at school, to conversations being shared as poems. Kids who love poetry and writing will enjoy every little thing about Destiny, Rewritten.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a wonderful story and would make a great gift for a pre-teen reader.
Educational Themes: One way to have fun with this book would be to do what the characters do … write notes and have conversations in specific types of poetry. This could be a hard book to read aloud in a classroom, but it would be a great read-along choice during a poetry unit.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - realistic fiction, family, friendship, life lessons
Date(s) Reviewed: September 2014
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.