The writing is descriptive and rich throughout the story. Hibernia talks about herself as Happy-Hibernia and Not-Happy Hibernia, Willie likes the words Uh-huh and Uh-uh, while Otis spews riddles like water from a faucet. The language is rich in similes and metaphors giving the words a rhythm of their own: There is practically nothing that could ever make me leave my wagon, but when five special words – Sing,Voice, Win, and Big wave at me with both hands and jump up like new friends ready to say hello, my wagon takes a fast backseat to anything else. Not to mention those dollar signs, which are pretty chorus dancers doing high kicks right next to Big. I thought the beginning and end were not as strong as the middle of this story. The beginning was confusing with all the names. I had no clue who Hibernia was talking to between Skip Gibson, the Savoy, Speaky, and the Reverend. The Savoy is a popular ballroom in Harlem. Skip Gibson is the commentator on the radio for Joe Louis fights. Speaky is the name of the radio, and the Reverend is her dad. In addition, the ending seemed too abrupt. Willie changed emotionally at the end but Hibernia and Otis didn’t which made it less satisfying. Also, when Willie is injured I didn’t realize it was that serious. I thought he would have ended up at the hospital and going to doctors. But these are little quibbles in a very satisfying, wonderfully told story.
Reading Level 4.6
4 out of 5 Smileys