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Knots in My Yo-Yo String
Cover of Knots in My Yo-Yo String
Knots in My Yo-Yo String
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Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli has penned his early autobiography with all the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction. And don't miss the author's highly anticipated new novel, Dead...
Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli has penned his early autobiography with all the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction. And don't miss the author's highly anticipated new novel, Dead...
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Description-

  • Newbery medalist Jerry Spinelli has penned his early autobiography with all the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction. And don't miss the author's highly anticipated new novel, Dead Wednesday!
    "A master of those embarrassing, gloppy, painful, and suddenly wonderful things that happen on the razor's edge between childhood and full-fledged adolescence" —The Washington Post
    From first memories through high school, including first kiss, first punch, first trip to the principal's office, and first humiliating sports experience, this is not merely an account of a highly unusual childhood. Rather, like Spinelli's fiction, its appeal lies in the  accessibility and universality of his life. Entertaining and fast-paced, this is a highly readable memoir— a must-have for Spinelli fans of all ages.

About the Author-

  • JERRY SPINELLI is the author of many novels for young readers, including Dead WednesdayThe Warden's Daughter; Stargirl; Love, Stargirl; Milkweed; Crash; Wringer; and Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; along with Knots in My Yo-Yo String, the autobiography of his childhood. A graduate of Gettysburg College, he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, poet and author Eileen Spinelli.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 30, 1998
    In this montage of sharply focused memories punctuated with b&w photographs, Spinelli (Maniac Magee; Wringer) reconstructs the experience of growing up during the '50s. His descriptions of his childhood universe (which does not extend beyond Norristown, Pa.) elicits the use of all five senses. He invites readers to gaze upon the same stars he studied as a child; to listen for the "not-very-loud" whistle of Mrs. Seeton calling not only her own brood but all the kids home to their suppers ("for a mother's call somehow touches us all"); to smell the "sour, vaguely rotten" aroma of the Adam Scheidt Brewing Company; to savor the taste of Texas Hot Wieners ("They had spunk. They fought back"); and to feel the "clack" of colliding teeth during his first kiss with Kathy Heller (in a game of Truth or Consequences). The audience might be content to bask in the warm glow of post-WWII reflections, but the author has other plans: he shows readers how the seeds of a writer were planted in his youth. Wedged between sometimes painful, more often hilarious scenes of preadolescent and adolescent angst are quiet, contemplative moments when young Spinelli develops his artistic imagination replaying the days' events and pondering such mysteries as time, space and the origin of knots in his yo-yo string. As Spinelli effortlessly spins the story of an ordinary Pennsylvania boy, he also documents the evolution of an exceptional author. Ages 10-13.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 1998
    Gr 5 Up-A loving reminiscence of childhood. Although the first five pages are slow moving, detail laden, and rather puzzling in parts, the rest of the book takes off as Spinelli takes small, seemingly insignificant snippets of the 10 years he lived on George Street on the West End of Norristown, PA, and explains from his adult viewpoint how they were stepping-stones to his success as a popular children's book author. Even though he only read cereal boxes and comic books as a child, he displays and describes his "early leaning toward language." Phrases such as "music's bunkhouse" to define an old crank phonograph, and using "picturing" to "co-create the moment" to show how listening to the radio was interactive, are evidence of his talent with words. In a conversational tone, Spinelli fondly recalls neighbors, pastimes, and events of the 1940s and 50s. Black-and-white photos present amusing images from his past. Readers may not be familiar with all of the lingo (Bonomo's Turkish taffy) or personalities (Lash La Rue), but they will enjoy the humorous episodes. In the last chapter, the author states, "I mixed my memories with imagination to make stories, to make fiction, and when I finished writing, I had a book, my fifth novel....It became my first published book....I continued to write stories about kids and to rummage through the attic of my memories." Lucky for his readers!-Kate Kohlbeck, Randall School, Waukesha, WI

  • Booklist

    May 1, 1998
    Gr. 4^-7. In Fargo, North Dakota, in September 1992, Newbery medalist Spinelli was asked, "Do you think being a kid helped you become a writer?" In this warm, deeply personal memoir of the kid he was, Spinelli takes us to Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the 1950s. Very gently, he reveals the critical importance of bikes and baseballs, empty lots and early television, your own street, and where your friends lived. For adult readers--of a certain age--Bonomo's Turkish Taffy and Howdy Doody may bring tears or giggles of recognition; kids will be delighted by Spinelli's frank admission that he spent most of his youth reading only comic books and the sports pages. What a marvelous thing, though, to read about a grown-up writer who still has all the notes his ninth-grade girlfriend wrote him in 1956. Their longing, their shyness, their desire to please, can even now break hearts. Young readers will be delighted to find that the author of "Maniac Magee" (1990) had a dog he loved, found school peripheral to his real life, and acquired a pesky and charming little brother, just as they might. Readers will notice that he still holds as friends some of the guys he knew back then. And they will know that a regular kid can remember all that important stuff when he grows up. ((Reviewed May 1, 1998))(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 1998, American Library Association.)

  • Chicago Tribune "Brilliant."
  • Booklist "[A] warm, deeply personal memoir. Readers will know that a regular kid can remember all the important stuff when he grows up."
  • Publishers Weekly, Starred "As Spinelli effortlessly spins the story of an ordinary Pennsylvania boy, he also documents the evolution of an exceptional author."
  • The Horn Book "[A] richly rewarding autobiography."

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    Random House Children's Books
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