Friday, July 14, 2006
For the Love of Venice
For the Love of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli, 1998
Seventeen year old Percy was looking forward to a summer full of sailing and preparing for the big race at the end of the summer. Now he is on his way to Venice, Italy with his family for the summer. His father is part of the engineering team that is designing the floodgates the will protect Venice from floods.
His family settles in immediately. His father is busy with the floodgate, his mom is doing her artist thing, even his little brother, who is enrolled at a day camp for young children, is picking up Italian at an astonishing rate. Percy is a at loose ends until he meets the mysterious Graziella who works in the nearby ice cream shop. Discovering that she also works as an animatori or counselor at his brother's day camp, he signs on as an animatori too.
His friendship with Graziella connects him with other teens in the city. He discovers they care deeply about the quality of life in Venice and are fearful of the effects the Expo world's fair will have on life there. The focus on tourism in Venice is at odds with daily life there for ordinary citizens.
When a huge storm threatens the city with flooding, Percy realizes the group will stop at nothing to keep the Expo out of Venice and his father's project is at risk.
Napoli captures the beauty and special light of Venice. The book is a virtual vacation and a entertaining read.
Posted by Camille at 9:39 AM