Book Review – Threads by Ami Polonsky

threadsBy Awnali Mills

Yumming’s grandparents have died, and she goes in search of her older brother who went off adventuring because she needs him to help her with the farm.  But while she’s looking for him, Yumming gets kidnapped by Mr. Zhang and put to work as a slave in a Chinese purse factory.  In desperation, she places a note and a picture of herself in a purse, pleading for rescue.

In America, Clara is grieving the death of her adopted Chinese sister, who has died of cancer.  When she discovers the note and picture in the purse, she knows that she is the one who must rescue Yumming.  Her parents believe that the Chinese government will do the job, but Clara doesn’t trust them.  She couldn’t save her sister, but she might be able to save Yumming.

I didn’t expect Threads by Ami Polonsky to be a feel good book.  I actually expected a condemnation of American consumerism, to tell you the truth.  But that isn’t what the book is about at all.  It’s about grief and the strength to survive, and what it means to be a family.

No, it wasn’t a feel good book, because both girls are dealing with tragedies, and Polonsky doesn’t sugar coat that.  Both girls are strong and resilient, even though they don’t always feel that way.  Polonsky doesn’t make things easy on her characters, and she doesn’t give formulaic happy endings either, although the ending was very satisfactory.

This is a great book to give to kids who like strong female protagonists, or kids who enjoy characters who take matters into their own hands.  Great for grades 4-6.

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