BOOK REVIEWS

Fiona's Lace Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-03-30 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 35 user ratings
ISBN:1442487240
LANGUAGE:English

"Imagine having a piece of lace your great, great grandmother made. Imagine that lace survived the Great Chicago Fire and contributed to the survival of your family. Patricia Polacco has such a piece of lace, and she shares it with readers in her book, Fiona's Lace. Along with the lace, she shares the story of immigrants, specifically Irish immigrants, and their hardships in coming to America and learning to survive, and thrive, in the New World. What could have been a gloomy story is lightened by the love Fiona's mother and father have for each other and for their children. The girl's request to hear the story of how their mother and father met and fell in love is sweet. As always, Polacco's illustrations are great. " said.

"Fiona's lace by Patricia Polacco is an Irish story and gives details of the Irish history. The story is about how the family had to leave Ireland due to poor conditions and go to America. Fiona learns how to make Irish lace and is able to sell the lace to make money and help her family. A fire separates the family while in America. Fiona remembers how her mom lead her dad to their door with a trail of lace and does the same so her family can find her and the other children. The lace resembles a lot to the Irish and is passed down for generations. This is a beautiful story to show people why the Lace means so much to the Irish. I think think this would be a great book for a child who is Irish descent and wants to know more about their culture and ancestors. 4/5 stars for me! " said.

"Watched on youtube
"Fiona's Lace" begins in Ireland and this is where Fiona's Mother teaches her how to be a fine lace maker. After her father's mill shuts down Fiona's family embarks on a journey to America.
They settle in Chicago and Fiona learns about the different levels of society and the challenges of being an immigrant. Her lace, which represents her heritage, helps her in her job and even leads her back to her family. The pictures show the emotions of the characters and the destruction caused by the Great Chicago Fire. It also provides beautiful pictures of the lace for students who may not .

I would recommend this for students in grades three or higher. There is quite a bit of text on each page and the vocabulary is third grade level or higher. This story would fit nicely near the end of an immigration unit or a unit on Chicago.
" said.

"For two consecutive years, I've chosen to read this aloud to my class on St. Patrick's Day. Please note, this is a lengthy read aloud and needs to be told expressively to grasp younger students from start to finish. The message inside is awesome!

It connects to the holiday in that it offers some background on Irish culture. The idea of an Irish-American can be picked up here - to early traces in large American cities such as Chicago. A tale of immigration can be taught and picked up on here, and how it worked for the family and country. This also includes a very strong female character. I love presenting a variety of books to my students, and strong female character leads - not princesses or accomplices - are essential for my class library. This fits a lot of current checklists, so I'll decide to connect and share this one again next year!
" said.

"Although this book of Patricia's didn't sing to me as past books of hers, the illustrations and story were still wonderful. The story is one of Patricia's great-great-grandmother, Fiona, a master at creating beautiful,intricate lace. It is expected that when she is old enough she will work in the mill in the small village in Ireland, where they live, but the mill closes, leaving many Irish families desperate for a way to live. When the opportunity arrives for she and her sister and parents to go to Chicago, Illinois, her parents as indentured servants, they find life in the US is not the streets of gold they were expecting. Although the parents have jobs, those jobs only pay to work off the debt of the passage and rent on the two room apartment where they live. It is Fiona's lace that allows them the hope that they may one day find their dream of owning a farm in Michigan come true, but all that is threatened during the great fire of Chicago." said.

"1. Text to world: Immigration is creating a big culture in America. Many students travel here and Omaha is a big city that many families come to. This book does a great job representing families who came to America for a better life and overcame many struggles. It also does a great job explaining the dynamics of families in other cultures, such as Ireland.

2. I chose to include this book in the multicultural folder because it shares a story about an Irish family, their Irish lace, and immigration. It gives great insight on the struggles families went through when they moved to America and it wasn't what they expected and harder than they imagined. I feel that students who move or came from a different country could relate and see themselves in this book and it can also give students a great understanding of families coming from other countries for a better life as well as information on Irish heritage.

3. Remembering: Where is Fiona's family from?
Understanding: Summarize the story of Fiona's lace.
Applying: What would result if Fiona wasn't very good at making Irish lace?
Analyzing: What motive is there for Fiona to make the lace?
Evaluating: Would it be better for the family if they would have stayed in Ireland?
Creating: Create a new story if Fiona's family came here today instead of in history. Would they have the same struggles or triumphs?
" said.

" Patricia Polacco tells the story of a piece of lace and how it knits a family together throughout their life in Limerick, Ireland and their immigration to America and life there. Richly illustrated, Polacco traces the family through their new life in America and historical events. (view spoiler)[ At the end we learn that this is the true story of Patricia Polacco's ancestors. (hide spoiler)] Beautiful story of lace and family. " said.

"1. This book has not received any awards.

2. This book is appropriate for 1st-3rd grade.

3. In this story, a family leaves Ireland to come to America. A daughter in the family, Fiona, makes beautiful Irish lace. After coming to America, the family realizes it is not the dream they had imagined. Fiona is able to save the family from their poverty by selling her handmaid lace to an interested, posh, dressmaker. Then, the living quarters of all the immigrants catches on fire. Fiona and her sister are separated from their parents in order to make sure they are found, Fiona leaves a trail for her parents by tying her lace to things. This works and everyone is reunited.

4. This book is so sweet and touching. I love the illustrations and the story. Many families suffered a lot of hardships when they immigrated to America and I think this story would be a wonderful way to introduce the topic of immigration to young children, especially since the hero of the book is a child (like them).

5. A) This would work as a nice read aloud during St. Patrick's Day as the family is Irish and the process of hand making lace is an Irish tradition. Perhaps following the story students could make a craft project using lace pieces.

B) "Fiona's Lace" could also be used as an introduction into the topic of immigration. The story portrays the hardships of immigrating to America, the joys, and also the determination of those that came overseas to join the melting pot.
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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