The matchbox diary / Paul Fleischman ; illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      1st ed.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Follow a girl's perusal of her great-grandfather's collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.
    • ISBN:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      FLEISCHMAN, P.; IBATOULLINE, B. The matchbox diary. 1st ed. [s. l.]: Candlewick Press, 2013. ISBN 0763646016. Disponível em: Acesso em: 24 nov. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Fleischman P, Ibatoulline B. The Matchbox Diary. 1st ed. Candlewick Press; 2013. Accessed November 24, 2020.
    • APA:
      Fleischman, P., & Ibatoulline, B. (2013). The matchbox diary (1st ed.). Candlewick Press.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Fleischman, Paul, and Bagram Ibatoulline. 2013. The Matchbox Diary. 1st ed. Candlewick Press.
    • Harvard:
      Fleischman, P. and Ibatoulline, B. (2013) The matchbox diary. 1st ed. Candlewick Press. Available at: (Accessed: 24 November 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Fleischman, P & Ibatoulline, B 2013, The matchbox diary, 1st ed., Candlewick Press, viewed 24 November 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Fleischman, Paul, and Bagram Ibatoulline. The Matchbox Diary. 1st ed., Candlewick Press, 2013. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Fleischman, Paul, and Bagram Ibatoulline. The Matchbox Diary. 1st ed. Candlewick Press, 2013.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Fleischman P, Ibatoulline B. The matchbox diary [Internet]. 1st ed. Candlewick Press; 2013 [cited 2020 Nov 24]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2013 April #1

*Starred Review* Small-scale objects tell a large-scale, European-coming-to-America story in this beautiful offering from two celebrated children's book creators. When a young girl meets her great grandfather, she asks him about his old collection of little matchboxes, and he explains that at her age he could not read and write. To remember his experiences, he kept symbolic things in matchboxes, starting with an olive pit that his mother gave him to suck on when he was hungry while growing up in Italy. Also in the boxes are reminders of his journey across the ocean in steerage, bones from the cannery where his family worked in the U.S., a tooth he lost when bullies threw rocks at him, a ticket for his first baseball game, and other things he kept to show his progress as he learned to read and rose to become a successful adult. The moving conversation is illustrated with Ibatoulline's finely detailed acrylic-and-gouache images, which appear first in sepia tones and then with glowing red accents. Along with Fleischman's lyrical, spare words, the body language depicted in the artwork captures the drama of the immigrant story, from heartbreaking partings and hard struggle to, finally, success. An excellent title for sharing and discussion, this will resonate with the many kids who will recognize how small, ordinary things can become treasures. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall

An Italian immigrant tells his great-granddaughter the family's history by showing her his "diary"--the contents of the matchboxes that he collected before he could write. His storytelling is so captivating that it will probably escape readers' notice that the girl isn't much of a character. Realistic acrylic gouache paintings on mottled tan pages simulate photographs of an earlier time.

PW Reviews 2012 December #4

If you can't read or write, how do you remember the important moments of your life? An elderly man explains to his great-granddaughter that he created a diary of objects, each saved in a matchbox. One matchbox holds an olive pit from his native Italy, given to him by his mother to suck on when the family had no food. A fish bone reminds him of grueling work in canneries ("always a man watching to make sure we weren't slowing down"). But there are also matchboxes that hold a ticket to a baseball game, as well as pieces of coal and moveable type that represent how the man finally achieved literacy and a comfortable life. Fleischman's voice for the girl's great-grandfather is instantly engrossing, free of self-pity and resonant with resilience and gratitude. Ibatoulline, who previously worked with Fleischman on The Animal Hedge, is in equally fine form: his characters' emotionally vivid faces speak of hard lives and fervent dreams, and his sepia-toned scenes never lapse into sentimentality. A powerful introduction to the American immigrant story, and fine inspiration for a classroom project. Ages 6–10. Illustrator's agent: Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Mar.)

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