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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Eleven-year-old Calli Gold is the quiet third child in a family of loud overachievers. In fact, the family motto is Be Gold. Calli's sister is on an ice-skating team, and her brother's a basketball star. Her parents are sure she has a hidden gift for something. They just have to figure out what it is! But Calli has flopped at everything she's tried. She sure doesn't feel like a Gold. Until a new person enters her life. Second grader Noah Zullo might seem strange to some people, but Calli can't help liking him, and they become partners in their school's Peer Helper Program. When they create a booth for the Friendship Fair, they fill it with secrets and surprises. And as Calli and Noah work and learn together, they even surprise themselves. Michele Weber Hurwitz's debut is an endearing and gently humorous story about the true meaning of achievement and the important things an "ordinary" kid has to offer.…

Calli Be Gold

by Michele Hurwitz

Overall Book Review:

Poor Calli.  She feels like such an outcast in her family.  It seems that everyone is a superstar, but she just can’t cut it!  She’s tried just about everything, and nothing seems to fit.  Her parents are determined, though.  After all, isn’t that what life is all about?  Being busy and being important?  Calli doesn’t think so.  She feels such pressure from her parents to find something that will bring her fame and fortune, but she just wants to be ordinary.   

This entire story is a gentle reminder to step back and remember that it’s ok to just be yourself!  I could empathize with her frustration as she feels left behind and neglected and struggles to find ways to express herself, but no one is paying any attention.  The sweet tone of this discouraged young woman reminds us that many times our talents aren’t recognized with medals and trophies!  We learn that to be a true friend and be loved is worth more than winning a basketball game; that things don’t have to be big and ‘important’ to really make a difference; that it’s important to be a part of a family, but it’s ok to be an individual, too.  Calli is such a cute girl, and her friends were so funny!  Little Noah stole my heart, and I wanted to hug him!  Calli Be Gold is a perfect book for those who need a reminder that they’re still great people even if they’re not the star, and for parents to remember to step back and let our kids be kids for just a little while longer—leaving room for them to grow and become whomever they choose.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Children’s Books

Content Analysis:

This lovely coming of age story has only one exclamation of profanity, no violence, and only a few instances that may be considered as sexual content: There is talk of a peer who has started wearing a bra; and when the P.E. teacher tells the class they’ll be discussing puberty in health, the boys start to laugh and chant ‘u-ter-us’, thinking they’re absolutely hilarious. 

Mature Subject Matter:

The themes are mild, talking about family life, fitting in, knowing who you are, and learning to stand for yourself.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I read anything and everything. I love the smell of books. My kids giggle at me when I open a new box of books from Amazon and I inhale the new pages and rub the shiny new spine against my face! 🙂 My husband just rolls his eyes at me and is grateful he has me on a budget! 🙂