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Dreamsleeves by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Sunday, April 1, 2012
A powerful, radiant story about a girl who wears her dreams on her sleeve . . .

Aislinn is a girl with a lot of dreams, but due to family issues (caused mostly by her hard-drinking father), there's a lot standing in her way. While she should be enjoying the summer with friends, Aislinn is kept under lock and key and put in charge of her younger siblings. The average girl might give up, but not Aislinn. A person, she says, should write their dreams on their sleeve, putting them out there for the world to see, because there's a good chance that someone might come along and help you make your dream come true. What begins as a plea for help for her father to stop drinking, turns into a spark that has the whole community making their own dreamsleeves. At times heartbreaking, DREAMSLEEVES is also surprising, powerful, and luminously hopeful. Everyone will see a little of themselves in Aislinn, a girl with talent, ambition, and big dreams.

Goodreads Summary

Could you run a house at age twelve? Aislinn has recently finished the seventh grade and is home for the summer taking care of her four younger siblings while her parents work full time jobs. Capable of caring for her young siblings and running the house, Aislinn is very mature. She understands that her father is an alcoholic. When drunk, he becomes abusive to her, the younger children, and her mother who struggles to defend them. As a result of her father’s drinking, the family lives with her father’s mother and her father issues unreasonable commands. Aislinn is not allowed to leave the yard, talk to boys, or go to other people’s houses.   

Recently, Aislinn’s father has been drinking more and more. Bills are beginning to go unpaid and he is becoming more and more abusive. In an attempt to get help for her family, Aislinn creates Dreamsleeves. By writing her wishes on a sticky note and wearing them on her shirt sleeves, people cannot ignore her hopes.   

Aislinn is a great character who could be described using all the adjectives of a noble heroine. She protects her siblings, confronts her fears, and inspires others. Paratore conveys all Aislinn’s worries and qualms in such a way that Aislinn seems to become real. The reader wants to meet the brave girl whose thoughts they read. This author does an excellent job telling the reader Aislinn’s story. Dreamsleeves seems appropriate for any female reader older than age twelve. Aislinn motivates her readers to achieve their dreams. Dreamsleeves receives five stars; it is a great book everyone should read.          

5 Stars

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*Reviewed by Kristin*

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Hi there :) just popping in... Oh wow this book sounds like an amazing emotional yet up-lifting read.

    Thanks for a great review!

    Book Enslaved