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An orange tree. An orange cone. A dog digging in the dirt. A rock shaped like a heart. What do these things have in common? At first glance, not much. But they all appear on Orange Street on one amazing day.

When a mysterious man arrives one day on Orange Street, the children who live on the block try to find out who he is and why he’s there. Little do they know that his story—and the story of a very old orange tree—connects to each of their personal worries in ways they never could have imagined. From impressing friends to dealing with an expanding family to understanding a younger sibling’s illness, the characters’ storylines come together around that orange tree. 

One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street by Joanne Rocklin is a story that kept me puzzled for quite some time. Was there ever going to be more of a point than the surface telling of the children’s lives? The answer was yes. There were many stories within the book that became like the sections of an orange – connected and held together within the skin that was the neighbourhood surroundingOrange Street. The last chapters brought all of those pieces together and I am looking forward to reading the book again with a better understanding of the whole.

This is an excellent book for reading aloud either at home or in the classroom. Although the book is targeted to late elementary school (grades 4 to 6), I think it may be better suited to grades 2 to 4. My daughter, who is in grade 6, did not finish the book. The story could not hold her attention, she had developed no investment in the characters and she had no desire to find out how it all ended. That being said, not all later elementary school children would find it the same for them.

One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street allows for deeper discussions about many childhood issues such as fear and how to deal with it, serious illnesses in children and older adults, new siblings, crushes, split homes, the death of a parent, and how history is an integral part of the present. There are many predictors that set up these discussions and many connectors into curriculum. It will be an excellent resource for the classroom and for parents as a “read together” book.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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