If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.
-- Oscar Wilde

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Young readersElementary readersUpper elementary readers
8 stars

Smoky Night

AR: 2.4
Lexile: 360
by Eve Bunting     Illus. by David Diaz
Normal-length Picture Book
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Caldecott Medal Award

Daniel lives with his mom and his cat, Jasmine, in South Central Los Angeles. Mrs. Kim owns the corner store and also has a cat. Daniel thinks Mrs. Kim's cat is mean. When riots start, people break into the stores and start fires. Everyone in Daniel's building is forced to evacuate, but Daniel's cat is missing! So is Mrs. Kim's cat. Guess what happens next.

This is a simple but powerful story about getting along with other people set against the backdrop of the L.A. riots. The illustrations are really interesting and very effective for this moving story. I guess that's why David Diaz won the Caldecott Medal for this book! It's an easy read and I recommend it to everyone.

(Last modified:09/01/2007)


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