Knots in My Yo-Yo String : The Autobiography of a Kid
by Spinelli, Jerry

With all the warmth, humor, and drama of his best-selling fiction, a Newbery medalist presents a humorous account of his childhood in Norristown, Pennsylvania, which includes in his first kiss, first punch, and first trip to the principal's office. Simultaneous.

JERRY SPINELLI is the author of many novels for young readers, including The Warden's Daughter; Stargirl; Love, Stargirl; Milkweed; Crash; Wringer; and Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; along with Knots in My Yo-Yo String, the autobiography of his childhood. A graduate of Gettysburg College, he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, poet and author Eileen Spinelli.

Gr. 4^-7. In Fargo, North Dakota, in September 1992, Newbery medalist Spinelli was asked, "Do you think being a kid helped you become a writer?" In this warm, deeply personal memoir of the kid he was, Spinelli takes us to Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the 1950s. Very gently, he reveals the critical importance of bikes and baseballs, empty lots and early television, your own street, and where your friends lived. For adult readers-of a certain age-Bonomo's Turkish Taffy and Howdy Doody may bring tears or giggles of recognition; kids will be delighted by Spinelli's frank admission that he spent most of his youth reading only comic books and the sports pages. What a marvelous thing, though, to read about a grown-up writer who still has all the notes his ninth-grade girlfriend wrote him in 1956. Their longing, their shyness, their desire to please, can even now break hearts. Young readers will be delighted to find that the author of Maniac Magee (1990) had a dog he loved, found school peripheral to his real life, and acquired a pesky and charming little brother, just as they might. Readers will notice that he still holds as friends some of the guys he knew back then. And they will know that a regular kid can remember all that important stuff when he grows up. ((Reviewed May 1, 1998)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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