The Matchbox Diary
written by Paul Fleischman
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Walker Books | ISBN 9781406343779
Hardback – 40 pages
Member’s price: $12.56
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When a little girl visits her great-grandfather at his curio-filled home, she chooses an unusual object to learn about: an old cigar box. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather's diary, containing objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. Together they tell of his journey from Italy to a new country, before he could read and write - the olive stone his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn't enough food; a hairpin he found on the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game. With a narrative entirely in dialogue, Paul Fleischman makes immediate the two characters' foray into the past. With warmth and an uncanny eye for detail.