I was very nervous to read this book because I get very emotional when reading animal stories. I am so glad that I took the chance because I loved it! I read the entire novel in one sitting and cannot wait to recommend it to other readers. Ann M. Martin, one of my favorite authors from childhood, has done a superb job of narrating the story through the eyes of a stray dog Squirrel. She truly made me feel as though I was going through life with Squirrel and throughout the story I experienced a variety of emotions including joy, sadness, anger, and compassion. This is a must read for all animal lovers!
Just having finished the newest book by Sharon Creech, I needed to immediately write a review! Moo is a short novel written in verse and tells the story of a family who decide to leave the hustle and bustle of a big city for a quiet town in the state of Maine. The family of four find themselves in a small harbor town and shortly after arriving the children's parents volunteer Reena and Luke to help Mrs. Falala, a neighbor who is known in the town to be strange and scary. The two children are responsible for taking care of a menagerie of animals, including a pig, a cat, a parrot, a snake, and Zora the Cow. Although it is rough going at first since Reena and Luke have never been around farm animals and were 'inside' people prior to moving, slowly they get more comfortable and learn to get along with both the animals AND Mrs. Falala (fal-LA-la). When Mrs. Falala informs Reena that she will be getting Zora ready to show her at the local fair, Reena doesn't know where to begin. However, with the help of another neighbor, Zep, Reena learns that becoming a cowgirl can mean so much more than just taking care of animals.
This book made me think fondly about growing up on a dairy farm in Minnesota, and the annual county fair. Although my mom always wanted me to join 4-H (because she had participated as a young girl), I preferred to be a spectator--but I did enjoy going to see all the animals at the fair every summer.
My favorite golden lines:
"It's strange how ideas can arrive out of dripsagging blues."
I read this book in a day--I couldn't put it down! The characters are well-developed and likable. The setting is engaging and Frederick does a fantastic job of depicting life in a small New England town. There are many themes throughout the story including adapting to change, friendship, courage, and perseverance. This was one of those books that I didn't want to end! I hope that there are more adventures and mysteries in Pumpkin Falls in the future.
I am a middle school teacher librarian and former classroom teacher. I have a passion for all things books and try to match my readers with high quality literature in every possible situation.