Brooklyn Bridge

Karen Hesse; Illustrated by Chris Sheban

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Download Image Karen Hesse; Illustrated by Chris Sheban Brooklyn Bridge

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Karen Hesse has achieved many honors for her more than twenty books over the course of her award-winning career: the Newbery Medal, the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award, and the Christopher Medal. Her novels burn with intensity, and keenly felt, deeply researched, and are memorable for their imagination and intelligence.

So it is with great pride and excitement that we present Karen Hesse’s first novel in over five years: Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s the summer of 1903 in Brooklyn and all fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom wants is to experience the thrill, the grandeur, and the electricity of the new amusement park at Coney Island. But that doesn’t seem likely. Ever since his parents—Russian immigrants—invented the stuffed Teddy Bear five months ago, Joseph’s life has turned upside down. No longer do the Michtom’s gather family and friends around the kitchen table to talk. No longer is Joseph at leisure to play stickball with the guys. Now, Joseph works. And complains. And falls in love. And argues with Mama and Papa. And falls out of love. And hopes. Joseph hopes he’ll see Coney Island soon. He hopes that everything will turn right-side up again. He hopes his luck hasn’t run out—because you never know.

            Through all the warmth, the sadness, the frustration, and the laughter of one big, colorful family, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse builds a stunning story of the lucky, the unlucky, and those in between, and reminds us that our lives—all our lives—are fragile, precious, and connected.

Brooklyn Bridge is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Book Excerpts

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The guys say I’m lucky. That I got everything.
     They’re right. I am lucky.
     I’m the luckiest kid in the world.
     Not everyone’s so lucky. I know this. . . .
     Five months ago we were just another family in Brooklyn. Papa sold cigars, candy, writing paper, occasionally a stuffed toy made by Mama. We weren’t rich, but we managed. And then they saw the cartoon in the paper. . . .

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Karen Hesse Interview

Karen Hesse speaks about her new book, Brooklyn Bridge.

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Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse--Audiobook Excerpt

Listen to an audiobook excerpt from Karen Hesse's children's book Brooklyn Bridge, read by Fred Berman. It's the summer of 1903 in Brooklyn and all fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom wants is to experience the thrill, the grandeur, and the electricity of the new amusement park at Coney Island. But that doesn't seem likely. Ever since his parents—Russian immigrants—invented the stuffed Teddy Bear five months ago, Joseph's life has turned upside down.

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Reviews

Praise for Brooklyn Bridge

Praise for Brooklyn Bridge:
 
"This well-told tale -- about a Jewish immigrant family in New York in the early 1900s -- is fascinating and full of suspense.”--The Washington Post
 
"Alternating with this story line is a parallel narrative devoted to abandoned children who forge a life for themselves under the shelter of the Brooklyn Bridge. Readers will have a hard time putting down this compelling story.”--School Library Journal
 
“Inspired by facts surrounding the inventors of the teddy bear, Newbery Medalist Hesse (Out of the Dust) applies her gift for narrative voice to this memorable story set in 1903 Brooklyn.”--Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
"The narrative includes tightly interwoven elements of multiple genres—adventure, romance, comedy, ghost story, and family drama—without ever compromising the authenticity of the plot or the characters.”--Horn Book
 
“Rooted in the Jewish immigrant experience in early-twentieth-century New York City, this story weaves together one boy’s immediate personal narrative with a community’s historical struggles….the plot reveals intricate connections, up to the very last chapter, that will make readers return to the beginning of this gripping story and see everything in a new way.”--Booklist
 
“It’s such a relief to be able to count on an author time and time again.”—Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal
 
"In this tale of Dickensian contrasts in kindness and cruelty, Brooklyn comes alive with the details of time and place, but it is the shadow of pain and transcendence cast symbolically by the bridge that haunts and compels. Another work of enduring excellence from Hesse."--Kirkus, starred review
 
 
 

In the Press

BROOKLYN BRIDGE by Karen Hesse, Chris ShebanKirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of BROOKLYN BRIDGE . An immigrant family's tale, Impressionistic glimpses of street children living under the Brooklyn Bridge and vintage newspaper excerpts braid themselves together to form this spellbinding novel.
- Kirkus Reviews


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About the Author

Karen Hesse; Illustrated by Chris Sheban

Karen Hesse is the author of many books for young people, including Out of the Dust, winner of the Newbery Medal, Letters from Rifka, Phoenix Rising, Sable and Lavender. She has received honors including the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the Christopher Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award, making her only the second children's book author to receive this prestigious grant. Born in Baltimore, Hesse graduated from the University of Maryland. She and her husband Randy live in Vermont.

Karen Hesse
Chris Sheban

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Available Formats and Book Details

Brooklyn Bridge
Karen Hesse; Illustrated by Chris Sheban

Award

Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, Sydney Taylor Award, Library Media Editor's Choice

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Feiwel & Friends
September 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429918015
ISBN10: 1429918012
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9
$5.70

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
Macmillan Young Listeners
September 2008
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427205476
ISBN10: 1427205477
Audio Run Time: 4:30
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9
$12.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
Feiwel & Friends
September 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312378868
ISBN10: 0312378866
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 240 pages, Black-and-white illustrations throughout
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9 Information for Librarians

Information for Librarians


F&P Level A-Z: U

$17.95

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Square Fish
November 2011
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312674281
ISBN10: 0312674287
Middle-Grade Fiction
5 3/16 x 7 5/8 inches, 256 pages, Full-color illustrations throughout
Age Range: 10 to 14
Grade Range: 5 to 9
$7.99
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