Thursday, May 5, 2016

A House of Tailors

A House of Tailors *****
By Patricia Reilly Giff

Overview: This was a great book about a girl, Dina, who hates sewing. This book takes place in a Germany. Dina has a mom, older sister Katherina, and two younger brothers Franz and Frederich. 

Katherina received a letter in the mail that her Uncle Lucas can take Katherina to live with him in America. Dina is very unhappy that she doesn't get to go to America. While this is getting figured out, she goes to exchange a pattern with her friend. On her way back, her own country's soldiers capture her because they think she is stealing their country's plans. When a solider turns around to see a bomb go off, Dina runs back to the house. Her mom figures out she will go in Katherina's place. Dina's very happy to not have to sew anymore, so Dina sails to America. 

She gets to her Uncle's house and thinks that's all his house, but it turns out only the top layer is his house. And then when she gets to his house, she sees that he's a tailor! It starts out hard because her Uncle and her get in lots of fights about things. The Uncle's job is to sew, so Dina has to sew to help make money. At least she makes friends with her cousin, Maria, and her Aunt Barbara. She also makes friends with a boy named Johann. He makes her a key necklace to wear. 

Awhile later, the smallpox comes along. Barbara and Maria get it when the Uncle's off on a vacation. It's all up to Dina to save them. She was completely afraid of the health department wagon because the people they took to the hospital died. Barbara was saying, "Hide the baby, Dina!" So Dina hid little Maria. Will they survive?

Dina was longing for home, and she was saving money in her trunk.Will she ever make it home?

Positive Elements: friendship, undeserved love, and family
Negative Elements: Smallpox deaths
Conclusion: This was a great book that ages 8 and up would like. 
By: Summer Staples, 9