Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet Treats & Secret Crushes by Lisa Greenwald

A Valentine's Day blizzard strands three 7th grade best friends in their New York City appartment building. Deciding to make the most of this legendary snow day (they almost never happen in NYC) Kate, Georgia, and Olivia learn how to make fortune cookies in Georgia's family restaurant and they deliver them to their unsuspecting neighbors. What happens is a bit magical, each fortune in each cookie seems to speak to the reciever in a very special way. But can the cookies deliver an important message to the girls who have been growing increasingly apart?
  • Confident Kate is interested in boys, gossip, and making new friends, which may leave her two best friends behind.
  • Observant Olivia has had an ongoing infatuation with PBJ (Philip Becker-Jacobs) that is no longer amusing but annoying to her two best friends. And her Observation Notebooks and trademark nature for investigating just might drive a wedge between all three girls.
  • Quiet Georgia, has a secret crush that she does not feel like sharing with anyone, and is beginning to realize that being a best friend does not mean you have to share everything all the time.
All three girls are trying to bring their building together on a snowy day, get to know their neighbors, and maybe make some new friends. During their adventure, they get to know themselves and each other a bit better.

A great cozy coming-of-age book that is perfect for a winter night (or a snow day). Read it and pass it on. And make up some fortunes while you are at it.
The author even promotes her favorite sweet treats:, just to make you that much hungrier while you read this book.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

When I first took a look at the cover, I wanted to love this book. People sitting in umbrellas in the rain riding around a ...well what the heck was that? Forget the old adage, I judge books by their covers all the time. The more interesting the cover, the more I will be willing to give a book a chance. And I am so glad this one followed through in my expectations of Dahl-like fun.

Once I read Drizzle I figured out that these lucky people on the cover have been to eleven-year-old Polly Peabody's family rhubarb farm. And they don't grow just any rhubarb, but they have rhubarb that tastes like chocolate, and their Weeping Willows really weep, and it rains every Monday at 1pm, where you can take the Giant Umbrella Ride around the Giant Rhubarb.

Van Cleve, you had me at chocolate rhubarb.

And not only is Polly's farm special, but Polly herself is too. She can talk to rhubarb, Harry is her particular friendly plant and the insects spell, albeit cryptic messages. But now Polly's beloved farm and family are in danger. The rain has stopped, the rhubarb are fighting back, and her brother becomes mysteriously ill. It all comes down to Polly to save her family and her farm, but can she figure out in time what she needs to to?

I am always up for a good coming-of-age novel, and this one fits the bill. It even throws in a bit of environmentalism with its whimsical magical realism. A truly delicious book.