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Susana and Pina grow up in an Italian orphanage. Will either find a parent?

Booklist-- Top Ten Historical Novels of 2010
Top Ten Spiritual and Religious Novels of 2010
Editors' Choice of 2010
Parents' Choice Summer 2010 Books Award

Marsden, who has written about children in Asia and Africa, now goes somewhere different, both in time and place: Italy after World War II... Marsden often puts crafts like sewing or crocheting into her stories, and in many respects she is like a master craftsman, using words instead of stitches for her deceptively simple design. The embellishments come in the sensory details of life in the orphanage, on the street, and with the particulars of religious life.There is even a touch of mysticism when the orphans are taken to a mass conducted by the sainted Padre Pio. Perhaps it is he who performs Pina’s miracle, but in any case, his well-known philosophic statement beautifully sums up this book: “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”
— Ilene Cooper

Publishers' Weekly:
Take Me with You Carolyn Marsden. Candlewick, $14.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3739-2
Marsden (The Gold-Threaded Dress) again deftly weaves a multicultural thread into her fiction... It's a poignant novel, enriched by expressive writing and credible characters. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)


My friend, Daniella, grew up in an orphanage after World War II in Naples, Italy. For several years, she told me stories of her life as an orphan. One Christmas Day, I said, "Daniella, let's go ahead and write this story!" Because she had so many interesting details and anecdotes, it was hard for me to create a plot. I finally had to get rid of one of the most intriguing elements-- a miniature baby that fit in the pocket of the nun's habit. The girls called the child Bambolina and took care of her like a "living doll." Bambolina never grew taller than about three feet and died at age fourteen. I had to leave this fascinating bit out of my story since it proved to be very distracting.