Coming of age is hard enough at home around your friends and family, but when you move half-way around the world and leave all your friends (and your beloved dog) behind. I've always thought that the jr. high years are probably the toughest of your life. AJ has to go through those years in Tuscany, not a bad gig if it weren't for the fact that the Queen Bee at school doesn't like her and makes her life miserable, her Mother and Aunt aren't speaking to each other, she had to leave her dog and best friend Danny back home and she can't go back home until she is 18 - in 5 years. This is a lovely story with humor and heartwrenching moments. I wish I had read the first book "Saving Sailor" before I read this one, but I still enjoyed it a lot and the subject of matter of perspective is well done and will make you think about your own life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Renee Riva writes humorous stories with a message, for both children and adults. Having been raised in a large Italian family with a great sense of humor, she has much to draw from for developing quirky characters.
She loves sharing her secrets for story starters at Young Author events, helping to spark the imagination of young minds. Renee and her husband live in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and until recently, her beloved hamster—may she rest in peace.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country... until her family decided to stay. It's 1972 and she's turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she's so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.
The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she's going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can't anyone see that Italy isn't really home? It will take a catastrophe - and a few wise words from a friend - for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Taking Tuscany, go HERE