'The Matchbox Diary'

Francis A. Gregory LibraryStaff Picks

'The Matchbox Diary'

Cover for the Matchbox DiaryWhen a little girl visits her great-grandfather's house for the first time, he invites her to choose something from the room and he will tell her its story. When she finds a cigar box filled with matchboxes, her great-grandfather explains that before he was able to read or write, he collected his memories in these matchboxes. Each matchbox contains an object attached to a memory; a journey from Italy to the United States, and the challenges and joys that he and his family experienced. Every matchbox connects the great-grandfather and great-daughter more and the idea and importance literacy and preservation.

The Matchbox Diary is beautifully written and illustrated. Moving and warm, it is easy for anyone, especially an immigrant or descendant of immigrants to identify with the great-father's experience. The reader can appreciate small details on each artifact, such as a a warp on a bottle cap or edges on a broken tooth. Similar to Sharon Bell Mathis' Hundred Penny Box, or Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey, The Matchbox Diary is another beautiful addition to these journeys through a family's history.

The Matchbox Diary was published in March 2013 and is recommended for children ages 6-9.