WELCOMEto Halleluia, MississippiPopulation:400 Good Friendly FolksAnd a Few Old Soreheads
Nine year old Ruby Lavender and her muumuu wearing, champion-of-lost-causes grandmother, Miss Eula, are best friends. The two of them "liberate" three hens from Peterson's Egg Farm -saving them from certain death-, go on picnics, share secrets, and have their own secret mailbox tree, where they constantly exchange letters.Then Ruby's anticipation of another summer of fun with Miss Eula is dashed when her grandmother tells her she won't be there this summer; she's going to Hawaii to visit her son and her new little granddaughter.
Crushed and a little jealous, Ruby writes to her grandmother while she is away, telling her all about the summer's happenings -her confrontations with her arch nemesis Melba Jane; caring for the Ivy, Bemmie and Bess, the 3 "liberated" hens (she reads them the dictionary for their bedtime "story"); testing her mother's garden-fresh recipes (which she loves); sweeping the floors of her Aunt Mattie's store (which she hates); meeting her new teacher; making a new friend.
This was a fun read. The characters are strong, interesting, and there's enough action to drive the story forward. And I love reading stories about strong family connections and families who love each other.
And I love reading books where the characters learn important lessons about forgiveness, especially when they are not pedantic.
This book would make a wonderful read-aloud, even for kids as young as six.
Themes: family bonds; small town living; friendship; death and loss; dealing with people you don't like.
Book published in 2001 by Gulliver Books, a trademark of Harcourt,Inc.
Borrowed from the library