Shoeshine Girl

Written by Clyde Bulla • Illustrated by Jim Burke

Reviewed by Madalyn C. (age 12)

This book is about Sarah Ida, whose mom is having problems at home with her, so what she did was send Sarah Ida away to her Aunt Claudia for the summer, until things get better. Sarah Ida gets along with her aunt, and her aunt?s neighbor, who has a daughter, Rossi. Rossi and Sarah Ida do not get along at first. Sarah Ida?s mom said to Aunt Claudia not to give Sarah Ida any money while she is staying with her, but instead that Sarah Ida?s Aunt Claudia can buy the things that she will need. Sarah Ida used to spend her allowance on junk food, sodas, and movies. Her mom did not think that she should get money anymore, since Sarah Ida has not been trustworthy with it.

Since she does not get any allowance at Aunt Claudia?s house, Sarah Ida gets a job in the town, which is shining people?s shoes, at Al?s Shoeshine Corner. Sarah Ida doesn?t really like her job a first because she is not sure she really wants to work hard for her money. But she keeps working for Al, the old man who owns the Shoeshine Corner, and he teaches her how to shine the shoes, and she gets paid. By keeping her job, she learns about earning money.

One day, Al gets hurt while he?s cleaning in the Shoeshine Corner. Sarah Ida was sad because Al gets hurt so what she does is do her job while Al is at home getting better. When Sarah Ida is doing her work people come and get there shoes shined they give her money for Al.

The next day Sarah Ida goes to Al?s house to give him the money that people gave her to give to Al but then a kid named kicker tells Sarah Ida that she has to be careful around there because there are gangs that can take her money that she got for Al. Then Sarah Ida gives Al the money and tells him to feel better. Then, she goes back to her mom?s house and she tells her that she knows how to be responsible about money now.

I liked when Sarah Ida went out to get a job because now she got money and she becomes responsible. I don?t like when Al gets hurt and goes to the hospital, because Sarah Ida is crying. She really likes Al a lot since she started working for him. This book reminds me of when my sister, Rosa, was trying to look for a job, to earn money for herself to buy things she wanted.

I recommend this book to kids that are ages nine and up because this book is a little sad, because older kids could understand the meaning of the things that happen in the story. I also recommend this book to people who are trying to find jobs.

Madalyn C. is a member in Page Turners After School Program / Rauschenbusch Center's Reading Rascals (2006-2007)