A Little Orange in the Big Apple

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Oddly, seven year-old Ali's family all live in different places! Each night Ali says a prayer to bring her family together, "where we could all live in the same place, all week long." One day her father asks his family to come live with him in New York City where he is in a Broadway show. Has Ali's prayer come true? Will Ali, her brother, mother, and father all live in the same place now?! More
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About Valarie Vine

Yep, that’s me sitting on a rock in Griffith Park over there on the left. Pretty young to write a book, you say? Actually, the photo was taken a very long time ago, but that little girl with the over-sized boots and sunny smile will always be that age (no matter how many chronological years I accumulate). You see, once upon a time I was a “Little Orange” in the “Big Apple”------a little girl from sleepy Sherman Oaks, California who suddenly found herself (along with her brother, mother and father) living in the city that NEVER sleeps, New York City! That little girl pretty much ran wild and free through the streets of that great metropolis and had adventures that seem almost unbelievable in retrospect. Before the images fade of those times so long ago, as if in a dream that we try to hold onto upon awakening, I want to share her story with all of you.

I have long been a reader with a particular fondness for coming-of age books (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Catcher in the Rye being my personal favorites). I received a 3rd place writing award for an essay on fire prevention in 11th grade that consisted of a fireman holding a hose mounted on top of a block of wood with my name on it. It is still cherished as if it was an Oscar or Olympic medal because it was the first validation of my writing. From childhood I was engendered with a love for the classics of literature, music, and movies-----a shout out to Steinbeck, Tchaikovsky, and Ted Turner, respectively! For three decades I was blessed with living near the water's edge at Hollywood Beach, California and will forever keep the sights and sounds in my mind's eye: the plaintive foghorn, the scream of the gulls, the sunlight dancing on the waves, the pelicans flying in ancient and regal formation above the Pacific, and my labrador's affinity for running untold miles with me along the beach. Cherished memories forever. The foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, "Gold Country", is now my home in this final season of life where I walk cemeteries in every season, enjoying the jackrabbits in the spring, vigilant for snakes in summer, crunching through the beautiful leaves of autumn, and carefully stepping through the snow drifts that adorn the tombstones in winter. Culturally, historically,aesthetically, and spiritually, there is much to be learned in these hallowed grounds.

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Review by: Emma Laybourn on Dec. 31, 2012 :
The story of Ali and her family, who move to New York in the 1950's, this thoughtful, carefully-crafted story is very evocative of its time and place. Although its heroine is 7 at the start, the book is better suited to ages 10 and over; it's quite long and leisurely and describes unsettling events as well as happy ones. However, it should be enjoyed by older childen and adults who like realistic family stories.
(review of free book)
Review by: Dee Fox on April 16, 2011 : (no rating)
This is a charming, well written book, which would be enjoyed by people of all ages. I highly recommend it.

Dee Fox
(review of free book)
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