Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Gianna the Great" by Becky Villareal

Gianna the Great
by Becky Villareal

Gianna the Great is currently on tour with I Am A Reader, Not AWriter. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Gianna just wants to know about her ancestors, but she has to join an after school history club (yuck!) to do it. Now, she’s about to embark on a journey that will change everything she thinks she knows about her family.


Praise for the Book
"The writing was clear and concise with definitions of big words close by to help readers understand them. The children spoke like children really do. I thought Gianna the Great was a very enjoyable book that will spark the curiosity of children about their heritage." ~ Kathryn svendsen
"This is a cute story that not only peaks the imagination but leaves the reader wanting to learn more about Gianna and where she comes from. It is written so that it is easily digested by young readers and they are not forced to be hunting around for what certain words mean. Cute book and cannot wait for the rest of the series." ~ Bonnie Rediske
"This is a book about discovery and the power of a child who helps her mother with generational secrets. The dialogue is right from the mouth of a young girl and her classmates and her Mamá, who speaks mostly Spanish. The reader is left wondering ... What more will Gianna find out? With a hint of more to come, young readers will surely look forward to sharing more of Gianna's journey into self-discovery." ~ Pam B
"This was such a cute story to read. Gianna wants to learn more and decides to join the history club to learn more about her ancestors. I love Genealogy and I really thought this story was right on the mark, a great beginning book to get children interested in learning where they are from and the history of where they are from. I thought the book was well written and of course makes me want to work more on my own family history." ~ Diana's Book Reviews

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Gianna is a curious fourth grader who always wants to know about everything. So, when the new after-school History Club starts up, Gianna is the first to join, along with the class know-it-all, Matthew. With the help of her History Club teacher and the power of the Internet, Gianna makes it her mission to find out about her family's heritage.
This is a short book with cute illustrations at the beginning of each chapter to help us visualize the characters. Using Gianna as the narrator, the author adopts a great conversational tone which keeps the story flowing nicely. Unfortunately, while extremely well-written, this is merely a vignette; the story is nowhere near complete and will leave the kids unsatisfied and wondering what happens next. I can understand the author wishing to create a series around the character of Gianna, but each book should comprise a complete story, not a mere fragment. In addition, Gianna's Mamá (her mother) uses a bit of Spanish in her speech, and it would be helpful to have a glossary at the end of the book.
A promising start to the series.

About the Author
As a missionary’s kid Becky grew up all over the state of Texas learning that each person is special in the Lord’s eyes. As a twenty year veteran teacher she learned how to bring out those gifts in children. As a ten year genealogist she learned how wonderful finding out about the family background can be especially when the knowledge is shared with others.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.