The Most Beautiful Place in the World
by Ann CameronYearling; $4.50.For ages 4 to 9.
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The plot centers on Juan, a young boy who lives with his poverty-stricken grandmother. Juan's life takes a turn for the better when he teaches himself to read and begins to excel in school. The two main characters have a warm and loving relationship, and in the end, Juan realizes that the most beautiful place is "where you love somebody a whole lot and you know that person loves you." It is important that parents be prepared to discuss the issues that may arise from reading this novel. Juan's mother, whom we meet early in the book, comes across as a callous person, choosing a new husband over her son. There's no context provided, and parents should explain to children that poverty forces people to make difficult decisions. This novel will provide an opportunity for families to discuss the factors that may cause a mother to place her child for adoption, and also to explore the concept of family and how families are created.
Reviewed by Laurie R. Weaver.
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