A Portrait of Pia

Pia Crossley is just a regular seventh grader who dreams of becoming an artist. One day she finds an envelope with the address of her long lost father, a man she has never met. She writes to him and makes plans to visit him in far-off Italy. Pia is sure that her father will help her solve all the problems that have started to cloud her life – her older brother’s schizophrenia, her mother’s new boyfriend, the unraveling of her close friendship with Anita, and the hopelessness of her crush on Brandon. Pia’s journey to find her father opens the door to a new understanding of what makes a family. In the middle of her shifting world, Pia realizes her own special place.


“Pia is a strong protagonist, and Russo capably documents her growth…readers will applaud (Pia’s) success in demonstrating forgiveness and moving forward.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A fine book for younger YAs, especially thoughtful, creative ones.”

2008 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

House of Sports

For Jim, there's nothing in the world like basketball. But Jim is short, and it's not easy being a short basketball player. He's worked hard to make the traveling team, and now he's determined to earn himself a starting position -- if only his grandmother doesn't mess things up for him. Jim's parents tell him he can learn a lot from Nana - a Holocaust survivor who is enthusiastic about life and culture - but Jim is worried that his obligations to her may lose him the one thing he cares about, his place on the basketball team.


 “Russo is believably, completely, in his head, as Jim uses the psychic strength he gains through sports to transcend to the broader life he must experience. Facing life, Jim and the others in his circle are drawn together in the small moments that make up the everyday triumph of humanity.”
*starred review - Kirkus Review

 “A satisfying story that will have wide appeal.” ALA Booklist

All artwork © 1995-2008 Marsabina Russo. . All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate in any form without permission.