ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Renee Riva writes humorous stories with a message, for both children and adults. Having been raised in a large Italian family with a great sense of humor, she has much to draw from for developing quirky characters.
She loves sharing her secrets for story starters at Young Author events, helping to spark the imagination of young minds. Renee and her husband live in Richland, Washington, with their three daughters, a dog, a cat, and until recently, her beloved hamster—may she rest in peace.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A. J. Degulio loved the idea of a visit to the Old Country… until her family decided to stay. It’s 1972 and she’s turning fourteen in a crumbling castle on a hill in Tuscany, wishing she were back in Idaho with her beloved dog, Sailor. In Italy, her blonde hair makes her stick out like a vanilla wafer in a box of chocolate biscotti, and she’s so lonely her best friend is a nun from the local convent.
The challenges of roots and relatives are nothing new to A. J., but she’s going to need more than the famous Degulio sense of humor to survive. Can’t anyone see that Italy isn’t really home? It will take a catastrophe – and a few wise words from a friend – for A. J. to understand that sometimes the only thing you can change is your perspective.
Lisa’s Comment: I started this book Sunday evening before bed. I forced myself to put it down way after my bedtime. I finished it last night after dinner. Taking Tuscany has been added to my Top Ten Favorite Books list. The characters in Taking Tuscany will make you laugh and cry. Their quirks and characteristics make them linger in your thoughts long after the story has been read. I highly recommend this book.