Pros: This book is very entertaining

Is written in easy to understand language, anyone with a third grade level of reading will be able to understand it

This book is warm hearted and authentic

This book does not need to be read in order, in one sitting, or even altogether, read aloud funny bits from time to time for sheer reading pleasure

This book is timeless, you don't have to be a baby boomer to "get it"


This book was written by eight authors! Though well edited, it's not like it has a real tight focus.

This book didn't have photographs! I was surprised, there's one photo on the back but it doesn't exactly list who's who on the pyramid.

Full Review

This is a hilarious, homey, comforting all true book to pick up with a nice cup of tea. Pieces of Eight is a memoir written by eight real life siblings with the last name of Maggio. If you grew up in a large family you will certainly smile and nod your head as you read by turn each person's chapter. If you grew up as an only child here is your chance to live vicariously. If you ever envied large families, you'll surely get some of the downsides, i.e. teasing and the like. At any rate this is a fun book, written in accessible language. One wonders how they all came to be so articulate. Is it genetic? Or all that good Catholic schooling?

Why I liked this book: it made me laugh out loud. They talk about such silly stuff in such a self effacing manner. What can you say about a sub-heading called "At Least two idiots in the family" ? Not one, but two, and he isn't using the word in a derogatory manner. Just a good natured story teller. Growing up with lots of brothers and sisters evokes a natural secret world of children. Frank recounts his version of a bet with his brother, in "At Least Two Idiots in the Family." Who else but a brother could bet you a quarter to run out into the snow in your skivvies?

These eight siblings lived in a fairly rural area. Tree houses were built on by more than one of them. They enjoyed walking and playing in the woods, and riding on horses. The horses were a funny herd. Apparently none of them was purchased for more than twenty five dollars, making for a beastly crew. One little pony is one eyed, one is very mean, one has strange off putting calluses - the Maggio sibs still manage to get a leg up and bounce around. You have to admire a dad who brings home enough horses for a family with eight kids.

Many of the siblings travel a lot. Read the bios in the back and you'll see that they have lived all over the world. Nice testament to good parenting that this family is full of profession working people. Two became dentists as was their father. Two are writers. Rosalie Maggio is author of twenty four books translated into many different languages and has her own website as well. One sib is a lawyer. Wow!

Their love of travel was clearly seeded by their parents' non racist attitude toward things foreign. As a young woman of 19 Mrs. Maggio had lived in Mexico, something rather usual for an American girl from Iowa. In Mexico she had been befriended by a lovely Mexican woman who took her around to see many sites. A true friendship developed. The experience fueled in her a kindness towards foreigners. Back in the United States she and her husband were willing to hire people who maybe didn't speak English fluently. Introduced in this way to alien cultures sparked interest, not disdain in the eight Maggio children. One wishes more Americans had such an unbiased view toward the rest of the world.

In Closing

This book has an ISBN number of 978-4500-3348-0; it should be available through shortly and would certainly be available at Ms Rosalie Maggio's website. Search for it, if you favorite book seller does not have it in stock, please request it. The authors' names are: Maggio, Rosalie, Frank, Patrick, Kevin, Mary, Paul, Mark and Matthew.