Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse

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Karen Hesse has achieved many honors for her more than twenty books over the course of her award-winning career: the Newbery Medal, the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award, and the Christopher Medal. Her novels burn with intensity, and keenly felt, deeply researched, and are memorable for their imagination and intelligence.

So it is with great pride and excitement that we present Karen Hesse’s first novel in over five years: Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s the summer of 1903 in Brooklyn and all fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom wants is to experience the thrill, the grandeur, and the electricity of the new amusement park at Coney Island. But that doesn’t seem likely. Ever since his parents—Russian immigrants—invented the stuffed Teddy Bear five months ago, Joseph’s life has turned upside down. No longer do the Michtom’s gather family and friends around the kitchen table to talk. No longer is Joseph at leisure to play stickball with the guys. Now, Joseph works. And complains. And falls in love. And argues with Mama and Papa. And falls out of love. And hopes. Joseph hopes he’ll see Coney Island soon. He hopes that everything will turn right-side up again. He hopes his luck hasn’t run out—because you never know.

            Through all the warmth, the sadness, the frustration, and the laughter of one big, colorful family, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse builds a stunning story of the lucky, the unlucky, and those in between, and reminds us that our lives—all our lives—are fragile, precious, and connected.

Brooklyn Bridge is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

About Karen Hesse

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KAREN HESSE is the winner of the MacArthur Genius Award, and the acclaimed author of more than twenty books for children, including Brooklyn Bridge and Out of the Dust, a Newbery Medal Winner. She has received numerous honors for her writing. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Published September 2, 2008 by Feiwel & Friends. 256 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Brooklyn Bridge

Kirkus Reviews

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An immigrant family’s tale, Impressionistic glimpses of street children living under the Brooklyn Bridge and vintage newspaper excerpts braid themselves together to form this spellbinding novel.

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Publishers Weekly

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Inspired by facts surrounding the inventors of the teddy bear, Newbery Medalist Hesse (Out of the Dust ) applies her gift for narrative voice to this memorable story set in 1903 Brooklyn.

Sep 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Brooklyn Bridge

Red Room

For those of us who know the area, the allure and magnificence of Coney Island and the wonderful Brooklyn Bridge will never cease to exist but rather be enhanced and remembered by reading Karen Hesse’s novel, Brooklyn Bridge.

Aug 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Brooklyn Bridge

Shelf Awareness

Bridget Rothenberger, owner of Nomad Bookhouse, Jackson, Mich., told the Citizen Patriot that, despite the long hours involved in running an independent bookstore, her staff allows her to also have time for her "top priority"--her children.

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