Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson

After attending NCTE and having friends comment on the fact that I hadn't read this book and why haven't I read it and when was I going to read it, I set about to right this wrong. What a perfectly wonderful book. In many ways it reminds me of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by DiCamillo in that there is an object at the center of the books that is on a journey and needs to understand what love is about. In this book it is a doll, a simply beautiful doll.

Larson uses the fact that in the late 1920's 58 friendship dolls were sent from Japan to America. The dolls went on tours and most ended up in museums. This book follows the story of one doll, Miss Kanagawa, but also the story of four children who interact with her and how they are changed as a result. Some of the stories were heartbreaking, some uplifting, all moving. I am grateful for my friends and their push to finally read this beautiful novel.

Reading level: 4th-6th
Genre: Historical Fiction
Appeals to: Girls primarily
Rating: Four Stars
Release date: out now