Gr 10 Up—
Can a pair of shoes have a profound effect on a person’s life? For Dayla, Ray, and Pinny, a specific pair of shoes connects them through time and place over decades and continents. One is the only member of her family to survive the atrocities of Nazi Germany and begin life anew in the United States. One is a troubled orphan who has been in and out of foster care and has decided to run away and start over in New York. And lastly, one is a quirky idealist with mild Down syndrome who believes that New York holds the answer she has been seeking.
With this novel, Nelson weaves an original and unique story line using shoes as the focal point that drives the plot. The story unfolds and evolves through the alternating points of view of Dayla, Pinny, and Ray as they overcome tragedy and despair in their lives. Nelson addresses complex themes such racism, morality, discrimination, and self-esteem, all with exceptional tact and sensitivity. This uplifting story depicts the best and worst in humanity and the true strength of the human spirit. VERDICT An inspiring additional purchase for mature readers.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
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