A Piece of Forever
A Piece of Forever begins where Catching Forever ended, with the story of Rose and her experiences being of Mennonite faith in a public school.
A Piece of Forever begins where Catching Forever ended, with the story of Rose and her experiences being of Mennonite faith in a public school. In A Piece of Forever, Rose is forced to address the issue of warfare, and to examine her own feelings about violence and peace for the upcoming Remembrance Day assembly. While doing research for a school project, Rose learns how the effects of war have touched everyone around her.
[Fry Reading Level - 3.0
About the Author
"Although A Piece of Forever is a sequel to Catching Forever, it reads well as a stand alone novel. Author Laurel Dee Gugler has gently included explanations about the more mature aspects of the story without appearing too didactic. With the story set in 1950's America, the author's treatment of the value of differing beliefs is well presented, and Rose's spunky nature and introspective struggles will appeal to a variety of readers. I believe A Piece of Forever would be a good addition as a classroom novel or book club choice for libraries."
How can we invite the children of western society to consider the possibility of looking at conflicts and their solutions in some other terms than war? Such a difficult issue, fraught with so many layers of history, emotion, family values and societal imperatives. It is difficult to imagine a way to approach the topic in terms accessible to young readers. Thank goodness for Laurel Dee Gugler, who has tackled exactly that. In her latest book,A Piece of Forever, Laurel draws on her own background to create Rose, a child of the fifties in Kansas, and a Mennonite.
Rose has one friend who is also Mennonite, but she's largely surrounded by schoolmates and teachers who are heavily invested in the recent wars. The issues that arise around school projects and preparations to celebrate Veterans Day (known now in Canada as Remembrance Day) create both internal and external conflicts for young Rose, as she struggles to sort out her own tangled thoughts. Rose wants to be friends with her classmates. Rose does not wish to betray her family and religious values. Rose wants to keep her one Mennonite buddy. Rose loves her younger brother, himself struggling to understand life and death and the customs and attitudes that surround both, and wants to gently offer him the degree of wisdom she has gained. She is surrounded by conflicts and must find a way to reconcile her own conflicting thoughts, as well as find a way to participate in Veterans Day while preserving her integrity.
It is a perilous route to navigate, but Rose, who found her "spunk" in the previous book, Catching Forever, manages, not without trouble, to do so. The book is peopled by characters who are interesting and have depth, and who illuminate and enrich the facets of the plot. Both the children and the adults offer various challenges and supports to Rose as she makes her way through the confusion (and sometimes anguish) to assert herself. Laurel doesn't hold back on the tough questions, and uses the story of Sadako Sasaki and her 1,000 paper cranes to give Rose something to grapple with, and to find insight into the meaning of war to ordinary people. I hope this book will be read widely by children everywhere, as well as studied in schools to open important questions and offer alternative ways of thinking.
Carol Leigh Wehking
Carol Leigh Wehking is a member of Hamilton Monthly Meeting
"I hope this book will be read widely by children everywhere...
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