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September 21, 2008

Jacob Have I Loved

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Jacob Have I Loved

Author: Katherine Patterson

Page Length: 244

Reading Level: 6

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: The story opens in Chesapeake Bay in the 1940s. Sarah Louise and Caroline are twin sisters; yet, they couldn’t be more unlike each other. Sarah Louise is strong and independent while Caroline is small, frail, and beautiful. Caroline commands everyone’s attention and Louise has begun to feel anger at her fate. She longs for recognition and is tired of constantly sacrificing for Caroline. To make matters worse, her elderly grandmother lives with them. She knows how Louise feels and does nothing but taunts her with cruel and inappropriate remarks. Louise longs to break free from the hold Rass Island has on her; yet, it is Caroline who gets a scholarship to Juliard while Louise stays behind to run the family business. Will  Louise ever be able to find peace and her own happiness or will she be forever bound to the family she longs desperately to have freedom from?

REVIEW: The historical and rural aspects of the novel are well presented. The reader gets a feel for what it was like to grow up  with a “perfect” twin and bound by the societal norms of the 1940s. Readers can understand Louise’s need to break free and find her own way. This book is a Newberry Medal Winner and a good book for teaching perseverance, self-reliance, and for leading students to recognize their own strengths and gifts rather than lamenting that they do not have the talents of another. The book would likely appeal more to females – especially those who have a sister.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: historical context, narrative effect, predictions, inferences, compare and contrast, figurative language, author’s purpose

RELATED BOOKS: The King’s Equal, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jip: His Story, Bridge to Terabithia

RELATED WEBSITES:

http://www.terabithia.com/books/jacob.html

http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-jacob-have-i-loved/

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ALAN/spring94/Liddie.html

http://www.allreaders.com/topics/info_29609.asp

REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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