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A coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she’s always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a A coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she’s always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a mysterious boy named Antonio with a wide, welcoming smile. Add in a creative new teacher, Miss Lightstone, and a world of possibilities opens up for Gina, Antonio, and their classmates. With the help of Antonio and Miss Lightstone, will Gina find the answers to the questions Who am I? and Who do I want to be?


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A coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she’s always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a A coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she’s always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a mysterious boy named Antonio with a wide, welcoming smile. Add in a creative new teacher, Miss Lightstone, and a world of possibilities opens up for Gina, Antonio, and their classmates. With the help of Antonio and Miss Lightstone, will Gina find the answers to the questions Who am I? and Who do I want to be?

30 review for One Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? -- Mary Oliver Gina is starting the new school year with a new teacher (Mrs. Lightstone) and a new neighbor (Antonio). The new teacher gives them writing assignments that will not be graded. The comments of kids in the class are spot on with some stressing over how to do it "the right way." At least one declares it is stupid. As they practice their writing skills, they begin to fall in love with the process and enjoy shari Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? -- Mary Oliver Gina is starting the new school year with a new teacher (Mrs. Lightstone) and a new neighbor (Antonio). The new teacher gives them writing assignments that will not be graded. The comments of kids in the class are spot on with some stressing over how to do it "the right way." At least one declares it is stupid. As they practice their writing skills, they begin to fall in love with the process and enjoy sharing with one another. Meanwhile Gina's family deals with an abundance of pasta and ponders the mysteries of the family next door. A delightful book, although not my favorite of the many Sharon Creech has written. Reminds me of "Mrs. Bixby's Last Day." I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings. --Mary Oliver Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Gina is an only child who has a very creative imagination. Antonio is her newly moved in next door neighbor and classmate. You would think there would be much to write about from these two characters, but the book really goes nowhere. At one point, Antonio is absent from school there is little to no plot development. This book was a big disappointment for me...very boring, no character development. I will not be purchasing it for my school library.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tanya #TeacherReader

    I was so excited to be able to review this ARC from Netgalley because Sharon Creech is one of my favorite middle grade authors. Unfortunately, this is probably my least favorite book I have ever read from her. It did not feel like the plot even developed until three quarters of the way through and even then there was not that much substance. Gina is an imaginative only child and when Antonio moves in next door and is in her same class you would think the story begins, but not much develops. When I was so excited to be able to review this ARC from Netgalley because Sharon Creech is one of my favorite middle grade authors. Unfortunately, this is probably my least favorite book I have ever read from her. It did not feel like the plot even developed until three quarters of the way through and even then there was not that much substance. Gina is an imaginative only child and when Antonio moves in next door and is in her same class you would think the story begins, but not much develops. When Antonio is not coming to school there is little information or plot development. My students will enjoy the short chapters, but other than that there is not much to appeal to them. I don’t even plan on buying this for my classroom; it was a miss.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Creech wrote one of my favorite novels as a child, The Wanderer. Reading her latest novel, One Time, I felt the same little wonders as I once did with her past work. Gina has always been an imaginative and thoughtful child, and her new neighbor, Antonio, is the first kid she's met that's on the same wavelength. Practically telepathic with each other, they're both inspired by the writing prompts in their English class, oftentimes creating very similar stories. Even so, Creech leaves some pieces o Creech wrote one of my favorite novels as a child, The Wanderer. Reading her latest novel, One Time, I felt the same little wonders as I once did with her past work. Gina has always been an imaginative and thoughtful child, and her new neighbor, Antonio, is the first kid she's met that's on the same wavelength. Practically telepathic with each other, they're both inspired by the writing prompts in their English class, oftentimes creating very similar stories. Even so, Creech leaves some pieces of each character up to interpretation-- in a good way that left me contemplative. Sweet, luminous, fantastic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Dear Miss Lightstone: I am Gina Filomena, age eleven. Sometimes teachers think I am not paying attention, but what they mean is that I am not paying attention to them. I pay attention to lots of other things like what is happening outside the windows, and the noises in the room, like the humming and the tapping and the snapping and the sniffling, and all the smells—some good, some bad. But I will try to pay attention to you. I will try. Your student, Gina F. When the new teacher First sentence: Dear Miss Lightstone: I am Gina Filomena, age eleven. Sometimes teachers think I am not paying attention, but what they mean is that I am not paying attention to them. I pay attention to lots of other things like what is happening outside the windows, and the noises in the room, like the humming and the tapping and the snapping and the sniffling, and all the smells—some good, some bad. But I will try to pay attention to you. I will try. Your student, Gina F. When the new teacher asked us to write something about ourselves, that’s what I wrote. I did not write about the angels or the boy with the visions. No need to scare her. Premise/plot: Gina stars in Sharon Creech's newest coming of age novel for middle schoolers. Readers get to know Gina, her family, her neighbors, her classmates, and one very special teacher. Though she's struggled with making friends and feeling like she belongs--especially in a school setting--she's in for a remarkable, unforgettable year. It particularly celebrates the joys of reading, writing, imagining, and living. My thoughts: I enjoyed this one. I've read some of the more critical reviews of One Time, and the general idea for those that don't like it seems to be that it lacks plot and nothing actually happens. I can't disagree that this one focuses more on internal journeys--thoughts, feelings, emotions, being--as opposed to external ones. There might not be much doing in terms of action. A girl goes to school day after day, week after week, month after month, and by the end of the year knows more about who she is...end of story. The story also touches here and there with the notion of bullying and acceptance. I think it worked for me--keep in mind I'm reading as an adult--because the focus was on books and characters who love to read and subsequently learn to love to write. At first I did not know what to make of her. She did not begin with rules. Instead she asked us to help her sort books, and in the middle of that, she stopped to read the beginning of one. “Oh, this one is a favorite,” she said. “I’ll just read the first page.” Her voice took on a different tone, one that we would soon recognize as her reading voice—a fluid, resonant, rich tone. When she stopped, the room was silent. She looked up from the page. “What? You want more? Maybe later.” While we sorted and stacked books that morning, she frequently stopped to read from another “favorite”—sometimes it was a poem, sometimes a chilling opening paragraph, sometimes a humorous passage. I was hypnotized. I’d only ever heard my parents read aloud to me, and it had been a few years since they had done so. My mother read so rapidly that my brain was always a few paragraphs behind. My father was blessed with many virtues, but reading aloud was not one of them, for he stumbled over long words and used the same voice for every character. But Miss Lightstone was a master. By the end of the first week, she had us in the palm of her hand. Well, most of us. It was surprising how one sentence—the first sentence—of a book had the power to draw you in or push you back, but not everyone was drawn in or pushed back by the same sentence. We discovered this when we each read aloud our favorite openers. “Maybe your brain is sludge today. That’s okay. Describe the sludge.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Sethi

    This would be a wonderful read aloud for an elementary school classroom to foster a love of writing (and because it's a compelling story with twists and turns and so many fun characters!). Sharon Creech has done it again - she always manages to pull you in with quirky characters and fun family dynamics and amazing grandparents. I also loved that the ending gives us readers proper resolution about what happens to all of the characters, but without spoiling the mystery and possibility I love in a This would be a wonderful read aloud for an elementary school classroom to foster a love of writing (and because it's a compelling story with twists and turns and so many fun characters!). Sharon Creech has done it again - she always manages to pull you in with quirky characters and fun family dynamics and amazing grandparents. I also loved that the ending gives us readers proper resolution about what happens to all of the characters, but without spoiling the mystery and possibility I love in a good book ending. It's a perfect balance for still concrete, budding analytical readers. The book also has some wonderful lessons about friendship, fitting in, and dealing with conflict that many elementary school students (and adults) might take to heart. I can't wait to recommend it to students! *I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kary H.

    I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley. Sharon Creech did not disappoint. The story of Gina, Antonio, Miss Lightstone, and the other wonderful characters was both everyday and magical. Gina doesn’t fit in, but throughout the course of her time in Miss Lightstone’s class, Gina finds herself becoming herself. Famous works of literature are used as a springboard to the students’ own writing, and Miss Lightstone’s efforts are in stark contrast to the “pointy” teacher Gina had l I was thrilled to receive an ARC of this book from NetGalley. Sharon Creech did not disappoint. The story of Gina, Antonio, Miss Lightstone, and the other wonderful characters was both everyday and magical. Gina doesn’t fit in, but throughout the course of her time in Miss Lightstone’s class, Gina finds herself becoming herself. Famous works of literature are used as a springboard to the students’ own writing, and Miss Lightstone’s efforts are in stark contrast to the “pointy” teacher Gina had last year. The minor characters (her parents, the school secretary and her partner, the large neighbor family) were all memorable and lovable. Short chapters will make this an appealing read for reluctant readers. The icing on the cake? Mary Oliver poem references! I loved this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mcbroom

    It is a shame that the cover is not shown because it is absolutely gorgeous.! What I loved about this book it was about the literacy of imagination. Yes people say education and literacy can not be taken away from you but neither can imagination and it is so important to have imagination to dream and have hope. Okay I will jump off my soap box. I identified with Gina the main character of the story because she was so unique in a beige colored world but a new friend Antonio and a fabolous teacher It is a shame that the cover is not shown because it is absolutely gorgeous.! What I loved about this book it was about the literacy of imagination. Yes people say education and literacy can not be taken away from you but neither can imagination and it is so important to have imagination to dream and have hope. Okay I will jump off my soap box. I identified with Gina the main character of the story because she was so unique in a beige colored world but a new friend Antonio and a fabolous teacher Ms Lightstone maks life bearable and shows how important it is to imagine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    As a fourth grade teacher who has used Love That Dog and Hate That Cat in my classroom, as well as having read Walk Two Moons as a student myself, One Time is another nice addition to the library of Sharon Creech's work. I would imagine reading this book alongside our fictional narrative writing unit encouraging students to expand their imagination and where they can draw their ideas. I appreciated the homage to childhood classics including Holes and the short story "Charlie" by Shirley Jackson. As a fourth grade teacher who has used Love That Dog and Hate That Cat in my classroom, as well as having read Walk Two Moons as a student myself, One Time is another nice addition to the library of Sharon Creech's work. I would imagine reading this book alongside our fictional narrative writing unit encouraging students to expand their imagination and where they can draw their ideas. I appreciated the homage to childhood classics including Holes and the short story "Charlie" by Shirley Jackson. I liked reading about how this teacher inspired her class and hope my students would be equally as driven to write after reading this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barb Butz

    An engaging and enjoyable read, unique and creative, yet not one of my favorite’s by Creech. I found it whimsical and engaging, however I had a hard time imagining a middle grade student savoring it. I felt teachers would likely enjoy this book more than the target audience. I especially appreciated the new words I learned, like: harrigan, komorebi, and nemophilist. 😊

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Sharon Creech does it once again. I loved the very imaginative Gina and Antonio with the smile that would light up a room. Their teacher, Miss Lightstone, sparked the class's love of writing. The final chapter explains that ONE TIME was about Sharon Creech's childhood. That made me love the book even more! Great read for 3rd grade to adult!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Perednia

    Engrossing, lovely story about communicating and making connections through writing, as told by a young girl who enjoys the eccentricity of those around her. Definitely recommend for a middle grade library.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    This was so soft and mellow and adorable 💗

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hendrick

    Another gorgeous day, another #netgalley review! With the crazy world around us, I have noticed these past few days have brought up lots of frustrations, anger, worries, and anxiety, which is why I have spent even more time than usual in other worlds. So, back to Sharon Creech’s world we go! This one is set to come out in September, and all of my ELA teachers, you need this one in your classroom. I believe it’s just a bit of a stretch for my fourth grade readers, but it would be a wonderful read Another gorgeous day, another #netgalley review! With the crazy world around us, I have noticed these past few days have brought up lots of frustrations, anger, worries, and anxiety, which is why I have spent even more time than usual in other worlds. So, back to Sharon Creech’s world we go! This one is set to come out in September, and all of my ELA teachers, you need this one in your classroom. I believe it’s just a bit of a stretch for my fourth grade readers, but it would be a wonderful read in all other middle grades. When I grow up and look back on my teaching, I hope my students will write about their learning experiences in this gorgeous, flowery way. This is a story of a young girl trying to navigate her way through another year of schooling. The story was gentle and beautiful, and I am mesmerized and am left wondering and hoping that what I read exists beyond these lovely pages. Thank you Sharon Creech for another captivating read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    What a book! As a long-time admirer of Ms. Creech's books, I feel like One Time is a love letter to all her devoted readers, filled with lovely hidden gems (or "winks"). It makes me want to go back and start reading every one of them all over again. I would definitely recommend that readers try a few other Creech books before reading this one -- Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Love That Dog, and Bloomability, for sure. Honestly, I think the open-ended narrative leaves lots of room to inspire young au What a book! As a long-time admirer of Ms. Creech's books, I feel like One Time is a love letter to all her devoted readers, filled with lovely hidden gems (or "winks"). It makes me want to go back and start reading every one of them all over again. I would definitely recommend that readers try a few other Creech books before reading this one -- Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, Love That Dog, and Bloomability, for sure. Honestly, I think the open-ended narrative leaves lots of room to inspire young authors to write their own continuation of these characters and their stories. (I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Grover

    “One Time is a great story about imagination, becoming and possibility.” Who are you? Who could you become? For eleven-year-old Gina who has an overactive imagination, school is a scary place. How do you fit in? Her new teacher, Miss Lightstone just might be the answer as a world of opportunities opens up for Gina, her friend Antonio, and their classmates. This teacher reminded me a lot of Mr. Terupt with her unorthodox ways of teaching reading and writing. I fell in love with the characters and “One Time is a great story about imagination, becoming and possibility.” Who are you? Who could you become? For eleven-year-old Gina who has an overactive imagination, school is a scary place. How do you fit in? Her new teacher, Miss Lightstone just might be the answer as a world of opportunities opens up for Gina, her friend Antonio, and their classmates. This teacher reminded me a lot of Mr. Terupt with her unorthodox ways of teaching reading and writing. I fell in love with the characters and this sweet story about friendship, curiosity, and possibilities. It is a tale about the power of imagination and the journey of discovering one’s self. I will be adding it to my collection.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    [ARC] Ugh, no. Not for me in the least. I hate magical realism and these characters were just all so *precious* and I get that it was a stylistic choice, but no one talks like that. I was getting big "The View from Saturday" vibes -- a weird "I'm 14 and this is deep" mishmash of implausible, unrelated stories -- and I didn't like that one either.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Frances Bland

    I got this from Harper Collins as an advanced reader. It’s a cute book. I enjoyed that a teacher was so inspirational to her students. Gina and Antonio are incredibly imaginative, and work well together as friends. It’s listed as for kids 8-12, but I think it’s a little “young” for most 12 year olds. Maybe for kids 8-10?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie Kirchner

    I love Sharon Creech’s writing so much! From the short chapters that still pack a punch to the exquisite characters that work their way into my heart, her books always make me unable to put them down while also struggling with a desire to linger longer as I don’t want the story to end! This one made me laugh, it made my heart ache, it made me hopeful, and it made me crave pasta! What more could you want?! A beautiful middle grade novel coming in September, 2020!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC from Edelweiss Plus This story about Gina's family, friends, and neighbors was SO good. I highly recommend this for student book clubs because of the discussions that can be held and because students can learn a lot from the methods Gina's teacher uses to help her student writers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Fast-paced story about Gina, her imagination, and the mysterious boy who moves in next door. Gina observes everything and has a great imagination. This, along with her shyness, does not earn her many friends. When Antonio moves in next door, she discovers he also has a vivid imagination - but he also tends to collect friends. When her new teacher starts the class thinking about words and transfers this into writing, the class flourishes. Problem solving and friendship thrive and life takes on a n Fast-paced story about Gina, her imagination, and the mysterious boy who moves in next door. Gina observes everything and has a great imagination. This, along with her shyness, does not earn her many friends. When Antonio moves in next door, she discovers he also has a vivid imagination - but he also tends to collect friends. When her new teacher starts the class thinking about words and transfers this into writing, the class flourishes. Problem solving and friendship thrive and life takes on a new meaning. Gina is now capable of handling all the change that is occurring in her life. This would be a great book for reading aloud - prompts much discussion and would be great for a writing unit. DRC from Edelweiss and Harper Collins

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Gina is a grade school student who is very observant, but a little shy. There's a lot of change going on around her: a new neighbor and student in her class, a new teacher, crazy relatives who come and go, which can all be a bit overwhelming. Ms. Lightstone, her teacher, starts the class thinking about special words and wonderful first lines of books and before they know it, the class is engaged in creative writing, and learning how to deal with their problems, their emotions and their dreams th Gina is a grade school student who is very observant, but a little shy. There's a lot of change going on around her: a new neighbor and student in her class, a new teacher, crazy relatives who come and go, which can all be a bit overwhelming. Ms. Lightstone, her teacher, starts the class thinking about special words and wonderful first lines of books and before they know it, the class is engaged in creative writing, and learning how to deal with their problems, their emotions and their dreams through writing and reflection. Ms. Lightstone is a teacher many of us will wish we had, and her lessons are easily replicable by teachers. Wonderful. Review from e-galley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shannon A

    Gina doesn’t fit in, probably because she has an excellent imagination. A new teacher arrives at her school and Wednesdays are...silent day? In Gina’s neighborhood, a boy who sees strange things and is always smiling moves in next door. A new English teacher, a new neighbor and too much pasta makes for a great book about discovering who you really are. I loved this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

    The unique genius of Sharon Creech's ONE TIME is unlike anything I've ever read- It reads like a Kevin Henkes novel- These characters win over your emotions and their consistent voice and personas cause you to cheer them on. Simply unforgettable. The ending made me gasp and cry.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I just loved this slim novel about Gina, a fifth grader with a new and creative teacher, and how she and her class learned to be themselves. I got so many great ideas I'm going to use with my school-age programs (when we finally have programs again), one of the simplest of which is to simply start writing with, "One time..." There are a few weaknesses, which brought it down to a 4-star review, but the good definitely outweighed the questionable. Gina is a fifth grader who is taken with her new ne I just loved this slim novel about Gina, a fifth grader with a new and creative teacher, and how she and her class learned to be themselves. I got so many great ideas I'm going to use with my school-age programs (when we finally have programs again), one of the simplest of which is to simply start writing with, "One time..." There are a few weaknesses, which brought it down to a 4-star review, but the good definitely outweighed the questionable. Gina is a fifth grader who is taken with her new neighbor, Antonio. It's Antonio's smile that gets her; it get bigger and better the longer he looks at her. Also, his imagination is free and he feels comfortable sharing both his smile and his imaginings with others. Through him and his family, she and her family come to better understand the other people in their neighborhood and at school. Antonio is the new kid in Gina's class and Miss Lightfoot is a new teacher. The class is full of distinct characters, most of whom seem a little too sweet for 5th graders, IMO, but if you can get past that, it's a lot of fun to watch as they grow and come into themselves. Miss Lightfoot begins to hold Quiet Wednesdays, where the class is silent; they can read and write and do work on their own, but there is no talking. At first, the kids struggle, both with staying quiet and with writing, but Miss Lightfoot is patient and eventually they find their footing. She starts them off with one question on the board, "Who are you?" then another, "What could you be?" along with the first lines of some famous books. Then, Antonio stops coming to class. Gina never sees him at home, either. For a while there are questions, and then another new kid joins the class, Gina stays home sick for a few days, and everything is changed. The last chapter of the book is about Gina and her classmates as adults and the reader finds out what they became. There is no explanation for what happened to Antonio except that he moved away. It felt abrupt and strange, but his family is strange, so that shouldn't be a surprise. I felt for Miss Lightfoot and her headaches, which were the impetus for quiet Wednesdays, but it felt like a stretch for these to last all day, every Wednesday (the quiet days, not the headaches). Overall, I loved the caring between the students, teacher, and families. My thanks to HarperCollins and NetGalley for an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Judy Beetem

    I loved this book so much - I will buy copies for my English teacher friends as well as for my middle school writer's club. One Time is about the delightful Gina Filomena, an eleven-year-old middle school girl with a very well developed imagination. Gina had always felt on the outside, as do most middle school children. She wears colorful scarves and wristband that her Nonna Filomena sends from Italy along with stories of the Angel Lucia who rewards good behavior and gently retaliates for bad, o I loved this book so much - I will buy copies for my English teacher friends as well as for my middle school writer's club. One Time is about the delightful Gina Filomena, an eleven-year-old middle school girl with a very well developed imagination. Gina had always felt on the outside, as do most middle school children. She wears colorful scarves and wristband that her Nonna Filomena sends from Italy along with stories of the Angel Lucia who rewards good behavior and gently retaliates for bad, or unkind behavior. Maybe because of the vivid stories, Gina sees angels in the trees and bright lights in the back yard. She learns to keep such things to herself until a new family moves in next door. There is a boy, who is her age, called Antonio. Antonio has a wonderful slow smile and sees elephants with blue frogs riding on their heads and porcupines eating red licorice. She finds him a little odd, but very interesting. Once school starts up again, Gina is relieved to find their pointy, mean English teacher from last year has been replaced by the colorful Miss Lightstone, who has a completely different way of teaching. Soon Gina and her class are thinking in new ways and writing - a lot! Antonio starts attending school and becomes popular in the class for his colorful writing and stories. He and Gina share an odd connection that is intriguing to both of them. Mrs. Lightstone is the teacher we all wish we had, or could be. The interaction between her and the children is amazing and the way she helps them think in new ways is inspirational without being smarmy. Once the class gets the hang of thinking and writing with more open minds, Gina feels like she belongs and enjoys writing too and learns that a strong imagination is a good thing. I wish that Middle School could be like this for all students, but this book sure inspired me to try harder to make it so.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anita Ojeda

    According to her teachers, Gina Filomena suffers from an overactive imagination. But gina doesn’t see herself as overly creative or imaginative. She just wants to be herself—a lover of bright colors, magical stories, and quirky situations. At times, it feels lonely to be herself—especially when her friends don’t seem to understand her. When a mysterious family moves in next door, Gina meets Antonio—a boy with a wide, welcoming smile whose imagination seems to equal hers. When he ends up in the sa According to her teachers, Gina Filomena suffers from an overactive imagination. But gina doesn’t see herself as overly creative or imaginative. She just wants to be herself—a lover of bright colors, magical stories, and quirky situations. At times, it feels lonely to be herself—especially when her friends don’t seem to understand her. When a mysterious family moves in next door, Gina meets Antonio—a boy with a wide, welcoming smile whose imagination seems to equal hers. When he ends up in the same classroom with her, she has high hopes for the year. But it turns out Antonio’s appearance doesn’t spark the biggest change in Gina’s life. Instead, Miss Lightfoot, Gina’s new teacher, starts a series of events when she writes ‘Who are you?’ on the chalkboard. The voyage of discovery will take more than one person by surprise. Gina’s journey of discovery doesn’t stop in the classroom as she searches for the answer to who she is. And the mysterious Antonio? Readers will have to read to the end of the book to figure out what happened to him after he just as mysteriously disappeared. Who Will Love This Book Students will love this book because it addresses a question every kid struggles with—Who am I? Whether they relate more with Gina, Freddy, or Margie doesn’t matter. They will find themselves in Miss Lightfoot’s classroom. Teachers will love this book because, hey, who wouldn’t love a classroom full of imaginative kids who struggle to become a writing community. I felt like I had picked up Nancie Atwell’s seminal textbook for teachers, In the Middle, in novel form. And that’s a good thing. I needed the reminder that creativity takes time, community comes with sharing, and kids are the best things ever.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Baobablady (Stacy Greene)

    As I (reluctantly because I wish it would go on) come to the end of this book, the word that comes to mind to describe this book is magical. This is a book to read slowly and savor. The focus is on the main character, Gina, and her family and friends. The story alternates between Gina's experiences with her teacher and friends at school and those in her home and her neighborhood. In her neighborhood, Gina is caught up in the lives of her new neighbors (with a boy her age named Antonio), her nois As I (reluctantly because I wish it would go on) come to the end of this book, the word that comes to mind to describe this book is magical. This is a book to read slowly and savor. The focus is on the main character, Gina, and her family and friends. The story alternates between Gina's experiences with her teacher and friends at school and those in her home and her neighborhood. In her neighborhood, Gina is caught up in the lives of her new neighbors (with a boy her age named Antonio), her noisy Clackerty=Clafferty neighbors, Auntie and Uncle Pasta, the Frails, and more. At school, she is immersed in the lives of her friends Margie, Arif, the new kids Antonio, Gerald, and Kalifa and her creative, nontraditional teacher Miss Lighthouse. Miss Lighthouse is my kind of teacher and the entire book is entwined with what the students are learning and doing in her class. From silent Wednesdays to ungraded free writes to intriguing first lines of books, to inspiring words on the bulletin board and to fake family trees, the kids are growing and discovering in ways they could not have imagined. This book is magical in that it takes you into Gina's imagination where she sees angels talking and to shared stories of Angel Lucia that bring her joy and hope. It also delves into the imagination of Antonio and the elephant, the blue frog, sheep, pancakes and porcupines, and more. Miss Lighthouse poses the questions Who Are You? What shapes you? What would you be? What could you be? This book is a book to treasure and one that will get you thinking about these important questions and may inspire you to share YOUR story. If you don't know where to start just begin One Time.....

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christine Turner

    Publishers Weekly recommends this book for ages 8 - 12. From Sharon Creech, Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestselling author, comes a powerful coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Perfect for fans of Love That Dog, this tale is about the transformative power of imagination and the journey to becoming who you are meant to be. This middle grade novel is an excellent ch Publishers Weekly recommends this book for ages 8 - 12. From Sharon Creech, Newbery Medal winner and New York Times bestselling author, comes a powerful coming-of-age story of a girl who discovers the endless possibilities her future may hold, with help from a brilliant teacher and a boy with a generous smile. Perfect for fans of Love That Dog, this tale is about the transformative power of imagination and the journey to becoming who you are meant to be. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, at home or at school. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. Gina Filomena has been told she has an overactive imagination. With her bright clothing and artistic spirit, she's always felt different from the other kids in her class. That is, until she meets her new neighbor, a mysterious boy named Antonio with a wide, welcoming smile. Add in a creative new teacher, Miss Lightstone, and a world of possibilities opens up for Gina, Antonio, and their classmates. With the help of Antonio and Miss Lightstone, will Gina find the answers to the questions Who am I? and Who do I want to be? Subject: Imagination -- Juvenile fiction. Teachers -- Juvenile fiction. Schools -- Juvenile fiction. Families -- Juvenile fiction. Imagination -- Fiction. Teachers -- Fiction. Schools -- Fiction. Family life -- Fiction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andee

    Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC in exchange for review. Sharon Creech's prose pulled me in to this imaginative story about Gina and her neighbor, Antonio. Gina doesn't quite fit in with the other kids. In the past, teachers have not been impressed by her creativity. Her new teacher and Antonio are bright lights to help discover "Who am I" and "Who do I want to be". A middle grade book, the middle grade characters do not use vocabulary normally used in that age range. However, because Creech's la Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC in exchange for review. Sharon Creech's prose pulled me in to this imaginative story about Gina and her neighbor, Antonio. Gina doesn't quite fit in with the other kids. In the past, teachers have not been impressed by her creativity. Her new teacher and Antonio are bright lights to help discover "Who am I" and "Who do I want to be". A middle grade book, the middle grade characters do not use vocabulary normally used in that age range. However, because Creech's language is gorgeous, I think it does middle graders well to escape and discover themselves - even if the actual realism isn't always there. Miss Lightstone, the teacher, was the shining star for me. I want to be her. I want to have the permission from the school district to be her. Can you imagine using each class period to go where the class leads instead of worrying about what time you have for which standard? Her lessons were exciting and deep and I loved every one...especially silent Wednesdays where kids' needed to figure out the answers to their questions themselves. Genius! Miss Lightstone's love of literature (and Creech's nod to classic and current works) integrates the creativity she expects to see in her class. The book is great for all ages, but I see this as a read aloud to a middle grade class. I can only imagine the discussions after each chapter.

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