Title: Brooklyn Bridge
Author: Karen Hesse
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Date Finished: 16 November
My Rating: 3 Stars
I've been sitting on this book for awhile for many reasons, one of them being that I could not figure out what I wanted to say about it.
Joseph Mitchom is a 14 year old living in Brooklyn in 1903. The son of Russian immigrants his life changes, for what he considers the worse, when his parents invent the teddy bear, close their popular candy shop and turn their apartment into a bear making factory. All Joseph really wants is to go to Coney Island but his parent's are too busy making bears to take him. The main story of Joseph and his family is contrasted with the stories of children who are living under the Brooklyn Bridge and a mysterious ghost who haunts them.
In the authors note found in the back of the book Karen Hesse wrote "Brooklyn Bridge is one writer's musing on what it might have been like in the early twentieth century to sometimes have too little, sometimes too much, and sometimes, to have it just right. "
The kids under the bridge obviously have too little and were juxtaposed against Joseph's story, showing that he really did not have it all that bad, despite all the changes he'd been experiencing.
Hesse has written a really great story with lots of layers, feeling and amazing attention to details of the period. I feel like I should have loved this book or at least really liked it but I just never got into it. The story of the kids under the bridge and the eventual connection to Joseph and his family just did not connect with me. The story lines I enjoyed the most were actually about Joseph's aunts and I would have loved to read more about them.
I think maybe I'll try and read this again sometime down the road and see how I feel about it then.