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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Publisher: HarperTeen, a Division of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: Rosie Keith is the poster child for latch-key kids. Her father left when she was young, and now at 15, Rosie gets daily reminders of how her Mom has abandoned her, too. She wakes up in an empty house every morning and comes home to an empty house most nights! The next person to go is her grandfather, who is dying of cancer. Every day, she heads to his house to care for him and prepare for the inevitable. What started out as a job to fill her days, became a journey of love and devotion. Rosie has one special gift for her father ... but will there be enough time? This is a YA novel about a teen who, feeling isolated, discovers her destiny while helping her grandfather.
Type of Reading: independent reading, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 10 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: House of Dance is an interesting story for children ages 10 to 12. Some parts, I found it slightly boring and a bit uneventful, but I enjoyed other parts. Many teenagers can relate to Rosie as she is forced to cope with her grandfather being very ill. The book also explains her feelings about her parents' divorce, and I found it very realistic. This is a book to borrow from the library. It requires patience because the plot takes quite a while to unfold. It was fairly slow in the beginning, but in the end, it finally captures the reader’s attention.
Adult Reader Reaction: Within just a few pages, the author completely immerses you in Rosie's world. Although this is written for a teen audience, it is a wonderfully told story that is meant to be shared. This is a story that, because it's told by a teen, could encourage kids to talk to their family elders.
Pros: The author offers teens a story about family dynamics and relationships in an enlightening, told in first-person by Rosie (a teenager).
Cons: As you close the book, you think you know how it ends ... a post-script from Rosie would have been nice.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a book that can be read alone or, better yet, shared together.
Educational Themes: This is a story for recreational reading. There are plenty of life lessons, though, and a chance to introduce the idea that it is "cool" to talk to your family elders about their hopes, dreams, and memories.
Notes: The Reading Tub, Inc. reviewed an advance reader edition of this title.