Read Take Me With You by Carolyn Marsden Online

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Hopes of adoption test the friendship of two girls — one biracial — in a lyrical novel touching on themes of identity and the meaning of home.Pina and Susanna. Susanna and Pina. For as long as they’ve lived at the Istituto di Gesù Bambino — a home for babies abandoned after the War — they have been best friends. As children, they played rag dolls under the watchful eyes ofHopes of adoption test the friendship of two girls — one biracial — in a lyrical novel touching on themes of identity and the meaning of home.Pina and Susanna. Susanna and Pina. For as long as they’ve lived at the Istituto di Gesù Bambino — a home for babies abandoned after the War — they have been best friends. As children, they played rag dolls under the watchful eyes of the nuns and hide-and-seek among the lemon trees on the rooftop terrazzo overlooking Naples. But now strangers are coming to the chiesa, couples hoping to adopt children. Susanna thinks Pina — pale, pretty Pina with her gleaming yellow braid — will be adopted at once. Susanna, on the other hand, is a mulatta. Her father was an American soldier, a nero. No Italian has hair or skin like hers. But when a surprise visitor comes to the istituto just to see Susanna, will the friends be separated after all? Or will a miracle make both of their dreams come true?...

Title : Take Me With You
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780763637392
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 176 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Take Me With You Reviews

  • Margo Tanenbaum
    2019-04-19 07:40

    Carolyn Marsden is well known for her middle-grade novels set in other countries or focusing on multi-cultural themes. In her newest novel, she takes us to Naples, Italy, a few years after the end of World War II, where Pina and Susanna are best friends who have lived together since they were babies in a Catholic orphanage. Both girls believe they are orphans, and hope with all their heart to be adopted. A nice family is sure to adopt the beautiful Pina, with her golden hair and creamy skin. But who will want Susanna, a mulatta, or mixed-race child, whose father must have been a black American soldier. Perhaps La Befana, an angel who hides presents on Three Kings' Day, will grant her wish for parents to adopt her. Imagine Susanna's surprise when Sister Anna calls her into her office one day and tells her that she's received a letter from a man who may be her father. An American sailor, he is on a "tour of duty." Will he come soon? Pina, too, is in for a surprise, when she discovers that her mother is indeed alive, and living in right there in Naples. Whose parent will show up? Will the two friends have to abandon one another?Finally, a very dark man in a blue sailor's uniform visits the orphanage. Susanna's big moment has arrived, but instead of throwing herself at him, "she wanted to cover her face with her hands." But he soon leaves, promising to return soon. Pina, on the other hand, is desperate to find her mother, and together with Susanna, finds her address and goes off to find her in Naples. But for both girls, their fantasies about their families do not work out exactly as planned. Will both girls find the loving families they deserve?This bittersweet tale of two Italian orphans will capture the hearts of middle-grade readers, particularly girls who are drawn to orphan stories. Marsden captures for young readers the atmosphere of the Italian orphanage, with its (mostly) kindly black-garbed nuns who drag the girls around Naples to sing for funerals and teach them to crochet blankets, which are sold to support the orphanage. Life is not all drudgery, however, with outings to the movies and to the beach also described. At 160 pages, this slender novel is a good choice for students in grades 3 through 5 who are ready to graduate from beginning chapter books to slightly more complex stories. Take Me With You was selected as one of Booklist's Top 10 Historical Novels of 2010, and I would recommend this book for both school and public libraries.

  • Ariana
    2019-03-25 10:18

    This was a very quick read, but I took my time with it. Take Me With You was honest and sweet, but meant for a younger child than I had originally thought.

  • Michelle Pegram
    2019-04-05 10:31

    This beautiful story, told through the alternating perspectives of two young girls in an Italian orphanage following World War 1, brings together the struggles of a multi-racial girl, with the self-doubt and anguish of children who are waiting for adoption. Susanna and Pina are best friends and have been since they were toddlers at the orphanage. Susanna is convinced that she will never live anywhere else, because her coloring reveals the fact that her father was a black serviceman who got involved with an Italian woman, something that is not acceptable in Italy at the time. Pina, a beautiful blond girl, can only explain the fact that the nuns discourage anyone interested in adopting her as the result of her misbehavior. The two friends deal with the nuns who run the orphanage, share discoveries about their parents and their fears about being left behind by the other in this lovely story told through the eyes of a child. This book would be appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. There are so many directions that a teacher could take with this novel including individual versus family identity, friendship, loss, loneliness, abandonment and courage. While the use of some Italian words clearly places this book in another part of the world, this does not get in the way of the reader relating to these young girls trying to find their way in life.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-04-11 15:27

    I actually want to give this 3 1/2 stars, because, though I found the characters confusing at first, the story picked up about half way through and settled on 2 points of view, that of Pina and Susanna. Aside from what seemed to be a story told from too many points of view at first, it was a poignant tale of girls in a post WWII orphanage run by nuns in Naples, Italy. All these girls want is to be adopted, to have parents and families, to belong with someone, even though their lives with the nuns are not bad. My heart went out to them! As the story progresses, some get their wish; others find that having a parent may not be so great, and one finds that it can be a scary and uncertain thing. Susanna, who is half Italian and half African American, represents an interesting view of black people at that time. Marsden bases this story on the childhood of a friend of hers, so the period details ring true and present a fascinating picture of a postwar society trying to put itself back together. Recommended!

  • Mary Louise Sanchez
    2019-04-03 12:23

    Two girls who have lived in a Catholic orphanage in Naples, Italy since there were babies dream of being adopted but Susana has little hope because she is dark and probably had a nero (Negro) father, while Pina has golden hair and creamy skin. Now the girls learn they are not orphans after all, but have parents. They wonder which of their parents will come for them and will the girls now have to be separted? Susana meets her father who is a sailor who only knew her mother for a day and didn't realize he had a daughter. Pina learns her mother is alive in Naples and wants to meet her too. Will their dreams of family finally be realized or will their dreams need to be redefined?I appreciated the extensive glossary of Italian words.

  • Angie
    2019-04-07 08:28

    This is a short novel about 2 little girls in a post WWII Italian orphange hoping to be adopted. One little girl has beautiful blond hair and a light complexion and the other is a mulatto. The story takes the reader on their journeys of wanting to find a family where they can live happily, and their current life in the orphange run by nuns.While I enjoyed it as an adult, I think I would've found it kind of boring as a young reader. I was sad not to see more of the little girls friendship with each other to balance out the emotions of not being adopted. The ending was satisfying enough, though, and it was a quick read.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-31 12:28

    Two girls are living in an Italian orphanage, both longing for families. They hope for a miracle but are also willing to put in some effort to make what they want happen.A quick little read, but not as engaging as I had hoped it would be.

  • Jean Haberman
    2019-04-21 12:44

    I found this book in the elementary library, however, it is probably more of a junior high level. Pina and Susanna are living in a home for babies abandoned after the war in Naples, Italy. The nuns are running the home and are always short of money. The girls have to crochet and sing for funerals to earn money for the home. Both girls want to belong to a family. Susanna's skin is darker than the other girls and her hair is always unruly. She wonders who her parents are. Pina is beautiful and wonders why no one wants to adopt her. Both of the girls get what they want in the end.There might be some questions from kids about why Susanna's dad was only with her mother for one night during the war. They also might wonder why Pina's mother doesn't want her? There are many references to the Catholic religion.

  • PeggySandstrom
    2019-03-25 14:28

    It was a hopeful/sad story of orphans in Italy who lived in an institution run by nuns during the war. Very short story....finished in a couple of hours.

  • Julie Gazca
    2019-04-22 09:27

    Two best friends who've grown up in an orphanage run by nuns in Italy after WWII. Pina and Susanna are like sisters, and they both dream to one day be a part of a family of their own. The story follows Pina and Susanna and the other girls from the orphanage as they go about their daily devotionals but pine for what they have always wanted - to belong. Pina and Susanna are both confronted with what could be the answer to their prayers, and a new problem arises - the prospect of one girl finding a home and the other being left behind. It was a touching story, and it made me thankful for adults like the nuns in this story that genuinely look out for the well-being of the children that don't have anyone else to care for them. I've been on this renewed high lately; my aspiration to foster and adopt children deserving of a safe and nurturing home is the ultimate goal in life. I know God placed this issue on my heart for a reason, and I plan on seeing this thing out! I hope I get to a point in my life where I can provide such a home for a child. Or two. Or five. :)

  • Natalie Cheetham
    2019-04-08 07:19

    it's a story with a lot of promise. two best friends, living in an orphanage in italy at the end of WWII, both looking for a family. however, for me, the book just fell flat. the characters felt hollow, and the book itself was not engaging at all. everything was too simplified. how convenient that after ten years of being orphans, both girls would discover their parents at the same time. too much time was spent on the insignificant...such as the girls being made to learn to crochet to raise money for the orphanage...too much of the backstory was missing. and, the ending was extremely disappointing. pina, the little blond girl, was met with a plethora of potential adoptive parents because she was beautiful. while, susanna, the mulatto who no one would want, was claimed by her missing father.

  • Judi Paradis
    2019-03-29 15:26

    An interesting idea! After World War II there were many orphans living in Europe and this book follows the girls in one orphanage in Italy. One girl is the daughter of a Black American soldier and doesn't look like anyone else. Her father finds out about her and comes to find her. Her best friend discovers that her mother is still alive, but doesn't want her, and breaks her heart. The plot is really interesting, but unfortunately, not told in a way that really interested me. I found it too easy to see where the book was going and wasn't always sure I believed how easily everything worked out for the American orphan. I suspect some kids would like this very much--especially kids who enjoy sad stories with happy endings.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-15 13:47

    gr 5-8160pgs~1955 Naples, Italy ten year olds orphans Susanna and Pina want to be adopted more than anything. They have been raised by nuns and never known their parents. Susanna and Pina are best friends but could not be more different. One day, they discover that each one has a living parent. Now the question they want answered more than anything is how they ended up in the orphanage.This story has wonderful characters and provides a look at life in Italy after WWII. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes realistic fiction and stories of friendship.

  • StorySnoops
    2019-04-09 09:22

    Take Me With You is a beautifully written, poignant story of two girls--both products of brief war-time love affairs--growing up in an Italian orphanage. Readers may gain new appreciation for their families as they experience the main characters' desperation to be adopted. Consistent with the post World War II historical context, some of the nuns who run the orphanage treat the girls harshly (including corporal punishment), but... (click for full review http://www.storysnoops.com/detail.php...)

  • Miss Amanda
    2019-03-29 15:35

    gr 5-8160pgs~1955 Naples, Italy ten year olds orphans Susanna and Pina want to be adopted more than anything. They have been raised by nuns and never known their parents. Susanna and Pina are best friends but could not be more different. One day, they discover that each one has a living parent. Now the question they want answered more than anything is how they ended up in the orphanage.This story has wonderful characters and provides a look at life in Italy after WWII. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes realistic fiction and stories of friendship.

  • Emily
    2019-04-08 13:45

    A sweet story about two friends in orphanage in Italy after WWII. When the nuns start letting the girls in their care be adopted, Susanna thinks that her blond best friend, Pina, is a likely candidate, while she is clearly bi-racial and doesn't think she can ever be adopted. The chapters alternate between Pina and Susanna's point of view. I did not like Pina, especially when I was in her point of view. But it was a nice story, and I liked the somewhat unusual set-up/circumstances.Geography Challenge: Italy

  • Francine
    2019-04-06 15:45

    This is YA fiction...recommended by a friend. It was a nice book to read on a partly rainy weekend. It really touched me on several counts: It talked about the Navy in WWII and black sailors; I'll be looking that up! The story is set in Naples and Sorrento; I've been there. The girls in the story have a trip with the nuns to Foggia...my grandfather came from that region. It was just a sweet little with a happy ending...needed that!

  • Marguarite Markley
    2019-04-15 15:43

    Historical/Realisitc fiction. The book takes place after World War II in Italy. Two girls in an orphanage long to be adopted, yet fear being separated from one another. Ironically both girls have living parents. Pina's mother leaves her in the orphanage because she can't take care of her financially and Susanna's father only finds out she exists months before he comes to visit and he is a soldier so cannot take her at once. It is a touching and heartwarming quick read.

  • Saleena Davidson
    2019-04-23 10:38

    This is a sweet, and young title that takes place in Italy just after WWII. The main characters live in an orphanage hoping and praying for a family. They are quite young, and it is a quick read from a point of view not often seen; discussing war orphans and abandonment from the child's viewpoint.

  • Mr. Steve
    2019-04-17 12:30

    Takes place in orphanage in Italy after WWII. Best friends don't know about their parents and learn some surprising information along the story. They both want to get adopted but feel like they can't - the main character because her skin is darker and her best friend because she thinks the nuns at the orphanage don't like her. Surprises abound in this nice story but for a small audience.

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-30 15:24

    Set in Italy shortly after WWII. Susanna and Pina have grown-up together under the watchful eyes of the nuns in a girls orphanage. The girls long for a home with loving parents. A touching story about a child's longing for a stable home and someone who cares about them.

  • Linnet
    2019-04-04 07:27

    Pina and Susanna are living in an Italian orphanage after WWII. They desperately wish for adoption, while dreaming of parents who might come and rescue them from the life they have lived for a long time.

  • Beth
    2019-04-09 14:22

    I would actually give this 3.5 stars if I could. This book would especially appeal to kids (especially girls) who are Catholic, as the nuns play a pretty major role in the story and there is a lot of the church's tradition.

  • Hanna
    2019-03-27 07:32

    so good until the ending! horrible, inconclusive ending, the jacket description was totally misleading.

  • Monica
    2019-04-11 12:42

    Would have liked a better closure as I don't like books that leave you hanging but overall a good read.

  • Shenek
    2019-03-26 12:43

    Very quick read. The ending actually surprised me.

  • Nancy
    2019-04-22 15:46

    a disappointment. orphans after WWII

  • Emma Burkhart
    2019-04-23 13:38

    Sweet post-war story about an orphanage in Italy, and two friends, one of them mixed-race, waiting to be claimed by long-lost parents. Sweet, but not particularly memorable.

  • Maria
    2019-03-31 14:33

    Not a bad read. I wish the characters had been developed a bit more. I didn't realize there was a glossary in the back until I was thirty pages in.

  • Nina Gayle
    2019-03-23 09:23

    This story is about two likable orphans in Italy after World War II, Pina, a white girl, and Susanna, who is part black and part white. It is well-written but slow-paced.