Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The House On Dirty-Third Street written by Jo S. Kittinger illustrated by Thomas Gonzales

About Book: 

Age 4-8 
ISBN: 978-1-56145-619-2 
Total Pages: 32 
Size: 10 3/8 x 9 3/8 

A mother and daughter turn a hopeless old house into a loving family home with faith, hard work, and the support of their community. When a girl and her mother are forced to start over, they find themselves feeling isolated and defeated. Longing for their former neighborhood and friends, and overwhelmed by the repairs their new house needs, they finally realize they can't do everything alone - the only way to make things better is to ask for help. They both learn that when you reach out to the community, people answer with kindness. As the house gets rebuilt, so does their sense of belonging. The House On Dirty-Third Street will touch the heart of anyone who has faced starting over in difficult circumstances.

About Author:

Jo Linda Susenbach was born in Miami, Florida. As a child, Jo loved nothing more than exploring outside, looking for crawdads under rocks in the creek, catching insects and snakes. Growing up she lived in North Carolina, Ohio and Orlando, FL before settling in the Birmingham, Alabama area as a teenager. Jo attended Vestavia Hills High School during which time she met her future husband, Rick Kittinger, on a blind date. They married in 1974 and had three children.

Jo graduated summa cum laude from the University of Montevallo in 1977. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art, with a minor in biology. Her senior year Jo was president of Kappa Pi, an art honor society, and a member of Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society. Jo’s concentration during college was ceramics and for two years after college, Jo was co-owner of Wood and the Works, a fine crafts gallery and pottery studio.

Jo’s interest in publishing began early. She was editor of her high school yearbook and began submitting original craft designs for publication shortly after college. Her projects may be found in numerous books and magazines published through Oxmoor House and Heritage House. Jo began writing for children in 1991. In addition to her books, Jo has published articles in various books, newspapers, and magazines including Highlights for Children, Pockets, Boys Quest and The Flicker. She wrote numerous feature articles which appeared on the Just For Kids page of the Birmingham News and items for Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement and CTB/McGraw-Hill.

Jo also served as an editorial assistant with The Flicker children’s magazine and is actively involved with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, currently serving as a Regional Advisor for the Southern Breeze region (AL, GA, MS) of SCBWI.

Jo loves to visit schools, sharing her excitement for reading and writing with students. Making school author visits also allows Jo to stay in contact with her readers and promote her books. Jo also enjoys speaking at authors’ conferences.

Jo and Rick take every opportunity to travel and explore the great outdoors, looking for birds and other animals, as well as fungi, ferns and flowers. Her other passions include pottery, photography and seeking to live honestly as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Jo Talks About Her Family I have a wonderful family that is very supportive of my creative work. My husband, Rick was my high school sweetheart. We met on a blind date. I started writing when my children, Rebecca and Robert, were little. They have grown up as I have grown as a writer. My oldest son, Michael, died in the year 2000, at the age of 20, from complications associated with his cerebral palsy. Michael taught all of us the meaning of unconditional love. We are each a better person for having known and loved Michael.

Over the years, many wonderful people have shared our home, becoming “un-official” family members. Each of them has a special place in our hearts.

About the Artist Thomas Gonzalez:

"There's really no philosophy about my work other than to capture a moment in time; the intimacy of light and the manner in which it strikes and gives life to inanimate surfaces. The serenity of light whether it is a quiet morning light or the solitude of an afternoon has always interested me. Having been influenced by the exhaustive detail of Japanese illustrators. Other influences in my art include works of Maxwell Parish an artist and amazing sculptor Richard MacDonald, whom I've had the privilege of working with for a brief time when I was in college. Both grounded me in the way I think about art. My background as an illustrator, creative director and designer has been fulfilling but not as much as the connection that a pencil, chalk or a brush does when it touches a surface." A graduate of The Atlanta College of Art, Tom Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba and moved with his family at the age of 10 to Atlanta where he still lives. Tom turned his attention to still life themes with drawings and paintings for his own enjoyment about four years ago while working as a commercial illustrator for local and national clients.

My Thoughts

This is an endearing story of a community coming together to help a mother and daughter hold on to their faith that the house they just bought would be more than what the young girl had seen as a just a dirty rundown house on Dirty-Third Street.  They could not believe so many people came to there aide in getting the house in a cozy livable condition.  

I see so much in this story of  love of neighbors, faith, and the power of prayer. Not to forget good old elbow grease and homemade cookies. 

This would be a good book to read to the kiddos as a lesson in being grateful for what you have.  

I could not get over the illustrations. You could almost see the people moving around on the pages. Very realistic.  

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book for review from Peachtree Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

GIVEAWAY - USA Only!!!!!





  1. This would make a great book to share with students who have just moved into a new area.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    hg195 at yahoo dot com

  2. I saw this book earlier on another blog or on Goodreads.com and thought I'd like to read it.

    godleyv at yahoo [dot}com

  3. Congratulations! The winner is Heidi Grange! I will be contacting you today.

    I want to thank all that left comments and joined in on the giveaway. I have more giveaways and review to come this June.

    Patricia aka Mamaw


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