Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review: The Eyes of the Amaryllis by Natalie Babbitt

I beg your indulgence as I set up this review a little, so you can understand the frame of mind I came to The Eyes of the Amaryllis with. My family moved to The Gambia the summer after I turned nine, and there for the first time I met the mystery and power of the sea. It was such a new experience that we glutted ourselves with beach-going several times a week. When my parents wouldn't take us, my older brother and I would cycle to the beach off of the Sunwing Hotel to hunt in tide pools and estuaries at low tide. I loved the ocean - the moods, the sounds, the smells; but I learned to fear it too.  A few months after we moved to The Gambia, our next door neighbor's son, a big, strapping, friendly lad of fourteen, drowned in the ocean. It was shocking and horrifying, the suddenness and manner of his death.

In July after I turned eleven I had my own near-drowning experience. I went swimming off the beach at the American Ambassador's residence during a Fourth of July community picnic, and got caught in the undertow. I got carried a long way out, and couldn't get back in because of the force of the undertow. There were some young Peace Corps Volunteers swimming nearby, but I didn't even have the energy to call to them for help. I faced the terrifying reality that I was probably going to die because there was no way I could muster the energy to try swimming again. I alternated treading water and floating on my back, contemplating death and thinking that I didn't want to die like my poor neighbor friend. I hated the thought of what it would do to my family. Fortunately for me, one of those Peace Corps volunteers could apparently tell I was in trouble, even though I hadn't spoken. "Getting tired?" he asked quietly as he swam up to me. I nodded my head and he put his hand under my armpit. "The undertow's bad today. I'm going to show you how to beat it. Let's swim this way." Swimming by my side, we swam parallel with the beach for a little way, and then he lead us in at an angle. That man saved my life. I was too tired to do more than whisper a thank you when we made the beach. He went off with a little wave and a "You'll be alright now", as I lay heaving on the sand, and I didn't see him again that day, even though I looked for him. I never even learned his name, but I'm alive today because he came along. (I didn't tell my parents of my near-death for years, out of fear that they'd ban me from ocean-swimming. In college I became a lifeguard, and then a life guard instructor and first aid and CPR instructor in an attempt to "pass it on.")

It was a year or so later, when I was twelve I think, that I first encountered The Eyes of the Amaryllis by Natalie Babbitt in the Banjul American Embassy School's library. Written in 1977, it was the first book I read by Natalie Babbitt. There were a couple of her other books on the shelf, but this one sounded the most intriguing, so I read it first. I was instantly captivated by the atmospheric, mysterious story that seemed to capture the hypnotic pull of the sea. It struck me powerfully at the time, I think because of my cumulative experiences with the ocean, and because I, like Jenny in the story, had grandmothers I didn't know very well.

The story takes place in 1880, when eleven year old Jenny (whose real name is Geneva) is being taken to stay with her paternal grandmother, the first Geneva, who has broken her foot and needs help until it mends. Jenny's Gran lives on a bluff in a bay on the Atlantic coast, in the same house she came to fifty years before as a bride.
"To be away from home--to stay with Gran and help her while her ankle mended--this seemed a very grownup thing to do, and Jenny had boasted about it to her friends. But in truth she was a little alarmed about that part, though her grandmother, whom she had seen before only for two weeks of the yearly Christmas season, had long been a figure of romance to her. Gran was not like other grandmothers, smelling of starch or mothballs, depending on the time of the year, and spending their time watering their plants. Gran stood straight and proud. Her face and arms were sunburned. And though she talked and listened, there always seemed to be something else on her mind, something far more absorbing than Christmas conversation.
But Jenny did not care for household chores, and was not at all sure that somewhere in her lay hidden the makings of a bedside nurse. So it wasn't that part of her adventure that excited her. No, the real enticement was the ocean. But this she could not admit. She was the only one of her friends who had never been to the shore. Preposterous, when it was only thirty miles from Springfield! But her father had never let her come, had always refused to discuss it."
Jenny quickly bonds with her unusual Gran, and learns that Gran has been waiting for years for a gift from the sea, a gift from her dead husband. (Thirty years before, Gran's sea captain husband drowned when his ship, the Amaryllis, sank just off the coast of home in a storm, as his wife and child watched from the bluff in helpless horror.) Ever since, Gran has searched the beaches every day at high tide, no matter the time or weather for some memento. (That is, in fact, how she broke her foot.) Now Gran needs Jenny to be her eyes and legs on the beach, and continue the search. But there is another searcher, a mysterious man named Seward, who could not let such a gift be taken from the sea.

I won't tell you anymore. It's the perfect book to read this time of year, if you want a little spookiness.

Twelve year old me loved this book, and because I loved it, I went on to read Tuck Everlasting, which I also loved. I was loath to re-read it as an adult, lest it lose the magic. I'm happy to report, however, that it holds up to adult reading very well, and I caught nuances of the relationship between Gran and her son (Jenny's father) that I didn't fully understand at the time of my first reading, and understand Gran's obsession a little better now, too.

Published in 1977 by Farrar, Straus and Girouux.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book Review: Letters To Leo by Amy Hest; illustrated by Julia Denos

Exuberant, opinionated Annie writes letters to her new dog Leo, that her father has allowed her to keep, despite his aversion to dogs. Through Annie's letters, which function as a diary of sorts, we see life through a fourth-grade girl's eyes. We learn that her mother died when she was very young, her father is apparantly worry-prone, and she's not liking fourth grade and her unsympathetic teacher (to whom she privately assigns some less than flattering nick-names). She longs to be back in third grade with her beloved teacher, Miss Meadows.

The charmingly simple pencil drawings by Julia Denos are a perfect pairing with the story, making it feel very age authentic.

Letters to Leo is a cute and sometimes quirky story, and a little irritating to this adult who is obviously not it's intended audience. It is an easy, quick read and not very challenging in terms of vocabulary. I personally found the idea of a ten-year-old writing letters to her dog a little too "precious". Annie herself is a tad irritating to me, but then again, so is my nine-year-old daughter when she exhibits some of the same traits. For example, Annie calls herself cheerful, but spends much of her letter-writing complaining and whining, which unfortunately I found very authentic, speaking as the mother of an endlessly complaining nine-year-old daughter. (Oops, did I say that? Not "endlessly" darling, just sometimes!)
Funny, a bit snide, there is much that kids (and adults) can relate to in Annie and her everyday struggles.

I wanted to see how my own daughters would respond to the book, so I asked them if they would read it. They both agreed. I didn't tell them anything about the book other than the fact it is about a girl roughly their age, writing letters to her dog. (Olivia was, at first, reluctant because of the orange cover. She hates the color orange. There's a nine-year-old for you. Oh, she's going to hate me!)

Olivia's take on the book:
"It was okay for an orange book. They really need to fix that! Annie was funny (I mean amusing, not odd) and she made me laugh. She's one of those girls who doesn't like school, so she complains a lot about it. I like dogs and I thought it would be more about Leo, but he really doesn't play a very big role, other than as an annoyance to Annie's father. I thought it was odd that she'd be writing to her dog, though. Isn't she a little old for that kind of thing?  And her writing instruction books for her dog? What is she...six? Hello, dogs can't read! And I never could figure out if Jean-Marie was her friend or not, even though Annie called her her best friend. She didn't act like Jean-Marie was her best friend. I liked the way she tries to get her Dad to fall in love just so she can get a baby sister (or brother.) THAT was funny."

Karina's take on the book:
"When it [the book] was funny, it was FUNNY! But it was sometimes boring, because she kept going on and on about school and all the bad things that happened to her. I liked it, but I wouldn't want to read it again. Can we get a dog?"

So there you have it: three opinions about Letters to Leo!

Amy Hest also wrote When Jessie Came Across the Sea (Illustrated by P.J. Lynch), a picture book we love.

Book published in March 2012 by Candlewick.
Review copy borrowed from library.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Book Review: Fanny by Holly Hobbie

We have a new, loved doll book we recently added to our collection. Holly Hobbie has written a book that this mom and her daughters can relate too, a story that will delight any creative little girl's heart, about a little girl who desperately wants a Connie doll just like her friends, but consistently and vehemently gets told no by her mother,
"Because I don't like the way Connie dolls look," said her mother. "They're just too...much."
Frustrated but resourceful, Fanny decides to make her own Connie doll. But when she's finished, the doll doesn't look anything like Connie. When her friends silently express their disapproval, Fanny banishes the doll to a dresser drawer. She ultimately has to decide which she cares about most: the doll or her friends' approval.

Despite the heavy sounding moral, the story is charming, not too "girly" and comes across as a joyful testament to a child's creativity and ultimate good sense.

(A bonus of buying the book is that it includes a Holly Hobbie illustrated paper doll to fasten together, as well as a blank one that your child can color and make thoroughly their own.)

Like Fanny's mom in the story, I too have refused to buy my daughters certain dolls, despite their popularity, due to their being too... much. Bratz dolls, for example. Yikes! I don't much like Barbies either, for their unrealistic proportions, but mostly due to the fact that their outfits have gotten excessively slutty in the last ten years. I spent the first few years of their lives assiduously keeping Barbies away from my young daughters, even going so far as to get rid of them when they received one as a birthday present. (Barbies as a gift for a two year old? Come on, people!) But life contains a certain amount of bowing to the inevitable. As they got older of course, they started encountering Barbies at other little girls' houses, and we went to my parents home on vacation and they encountered the Barbies my mom had saved from my youth. They were over the moon and went through a few months' phase of intense Barbie love, which has thankfully ceased. (To help myself not feel too nauseated over the thought of what I was allowing, I sought out the older Barbie clothes on Ebay, buying them in bulk, repairing when necessary, throwing away the more sluttish outfits I came across. I know. I'm intense about some things.)
Likewise, I know moms of boys who vowed to never allow their boys to play with guns, but boys (especially in playing with other boys) will turn anything into guns, and at some point you have to pick your line in the sand, and some lines are more movable than others. (For me: Barbies a reluctant, teeth-gritting "yes," Bratz "no.")

Monday, October 22, 2012

By Request: Links to Book Blogs for/about Boys

At reader Jocelyne's request (she has all boys and would like to know about the boys' book blogs I've found) here are some links to book blogs geared toward boys:

Also, two blogs I regularly read always have great suggestions for books for boys (because they have boys):

  • Fanny at Fanny Harville's Unschool Academy has some great chapter book suggestions for books for boys. Check out her read-aloud lists. (See her side bar to get you started.)
  • Erica at What Do We Do All Day? also has lots of great suggestions and book lists she reads to her two young sons, from picture books to chapter books.

Are there more great ones I'm missing?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book Review: Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution by Avi

Doesn't that gorgeous cover by Edel Rodriguez make you long to read this? It's the perfect cover for this story. (I have a "thing" for silhouettes on book covers. I don't know why, but I feel compelled to buy a book with silhouettes on the cover.)

If you have never read one of Avi's books, you really need to. He writes intelligent historical fiction for young people. He never dumbs down his books, and obviously works hard to be historically accurate.

In this complex, smart story Avi again tackles an aspect of the American Revolution. (He did it once before in The Fighting Ground, where the reader is swept along in thirteen-year-old Jonathon's passion to be part of the fighting, and then his rude awakening to the realities of being a soldier.) But this story isn't just a feminine version of The Fighting Ground. It's a completely different aspect of the war, written in a different kind of narrative.

 The story is broken up into two different time frames. Roughly the first half takes place in 1776 when Sophia Calderwood is twelve years old. Sophia and her parents fled their home in New York City when the British invaded. Sophia's adored older brother William joined the American troops fighting to keep the British out of the city. As the book opens in September of 1776, Sophia and her mother are returning on foot to New York to try to reclaim what they can of their lives. (For safety, Mr. Calderwood must return in secret later.) In an apple orchard on the outskirts of New York, they witness a young man of "dignified bearing" being led by British soldiers to a rope hanging from an apple tree, and Sophia watches in horror as the ladder is kicked away and the young man (who she later learns was Nathan Hale) is hanged.

Still reeling from that shock, they return to their home to find it looted of all their most costly possessions. As they begin the clean-up process, a small troop of British soldiers appears on their doorstep, looking for Mr. Calderwood and informing them they will be required to billet a British Officer. What follows is a tense time of eking out a living while boarding a British officer and pretending to be Loyalists. Sophia develops a reluctant crush on John Andre (oh curse Blogger's lack of language accents!) the British officer boarding in their home, even as she firmly believes in the American cause. When she learns that her brother is a prisoner of the British and housed under appalling conditions, she pleads with Andre to help. What happens next firmly sets her on the course for later events.

The second half of the book takes place three years later, in 1780, when Sophia is fifteen years old. Through her work with her father's publisher friend, she meets a man who recruits her as a spy in the household of General Sir Henry Clinton. As a housemaid, she would have access to information vital to the war effort. She stumbles on to what appears to be a clandestine operation possibly involving the collaboration of the British and an American of high military rank, a man Sophia and other Americans idolized, a man who played a huge part in early American victories against the British. The implications are so shocking and suddenly Sophia is alone in her quest to bring this information to light.

In the author's note at the end of the book, Avi writes that the two story threads based on historical facts "are as historically accurate as I could write them." He goes on to say that "Sophia is as true an individual as I could hope to create, and her actions provide an explanation as to what really happened in 1780."

And can I tell you how much I appreciated his striving for historical accuracy, even down to the language used. So often you read historical fiction, and get jerked out of the story by an author's use of modern words and terminology. In fact, there is a very helpful glossary in the back of the book to look up those unfamiliar words you come across. (A couple of years ago I read a Middle Grade novel by an author who shall remain nameless, about the Civil War era and the main character talks about being "gaga" for a certain boy! Yes, that word was actually used. Having already overlooked other words that were very obviously not historically accurate, I threw the book down in disgust and never went back to it. So I really appreciated Avi's obviously meticulous research on this book.)

Sophia provides the modern reader with an emotional barometer of the life of an average citizen during that time of conflict in American history. Avi shows Sophia's -I think natural- human conflictions that come with living in a war-torn country: how morals and actions change or become ambiguous based on circumstances.

Sophia, as a narrator, is very Self conscious: she narrates her story as someone aware of her audience and how they may be judging her. Her narrative never loses that awareness. There is a "buttoned up" quality to it: like she is recalling this period of time and reacting almost unwillingly to remembered emotions, and doesn't want to come across as too emotional. She tries her best to be fair and balanced in her narrative, not defending her actions and emotions so much as explaining them. And yet, despite the distancing approach to the narrative, the reader is quickly caught up in her experiences.

Book published in September 2012 by Beach Lane Books.

I nominated this book for the CYBILS 2012 in the Middle Grade Fiction category.

Also linking up with Armchair CYBILS and The Children's Bookshelf.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Olivia (Age 9) Reviews Her Recent Reads

By Olivia Neal (nine years old)

Stolen Children by Peg Kehret. 
Fourteen-year-old Amy is babysitting a three-year-old girl while the little girl's grandmother is in the hospital and her mom has to be gone a lot helping the grandmother. While the three-year-old is taking a nap, Amy falls asleep too. When Amy wakes up, the little girl is gone. After looking everywhere but not finding her, Amy tries to call the police, but two bad guys burst in and kidnap Amy, too. They take Amy and the little girl to a cabin in the woods. Amy has to figure out a way to get herself and the little girl away from the kidnappers. This is the first Peg Kehret book I read, and it was so scary and thrilling. I loved it. 

Runaway Twin by Peg Kehret.
 Sunny has a twin sister, Starr, but they were separated when they were three years old. Sunny set out to find Starr. So a lot of the story is about her journey to Starr, and then what happen when she does. Sunny's journey was really exciting. I liked the idea of the story, that it was about sisters who didn't really know each other.  It's kind of like me: I have a half sister that I've never met, and I thought about what would it be like if she showed up on my doorstep. Will I like her? Will she like me?

Abduction!  by Peg Kehret.
I just finished reading this one. A little boy is kidnapped from his kindergarten class by his father, who's a crook. And then his older half-sister also gets kidnapped. It's a tense and nail-biting book. I don't really know how to describe it without ruining the story for you, just read the book. You'll like it!

Wilma Tenderfoot: The Case of the Frozen Hearts by Emma Kennedy.
Wilma's a ten-year-old orphan who was abandoned when she was a baby, outside a children's orphanage. She's a bit of a troublemaker, not in a mean way, but out of curiosity. She drives the matron crazy. She wants to be a detective so she can find her parents. Her favorite detective is Theodore P. Goodman and she aspires to be like him. When the matron forces her to go live with a mean lady, Mrs. Waldock, she discovers that Mr. Goodman lives next door. She wants to be his apprentice, but he refuses. So behind his back she tries to help him solve his current case.  I like Wilma because she just so curious and funny (and she has a dog named Pickle). The inspector's pretty funny too. And the case they are trying to solve is interesting and very mysterious.
I have the next book in the series, but it didn't start as interesting as this one. My mom says I have to give it more of a chance.

The Puzzle of the Paper Daughter by Kathryn Reiss.
When Julie finds a note in an old jacket, she and her best friend, Ivy try to find what the note means. When Ivy's Chinese Grandmother deciphers the note (which is in Chinese), she tells them the note is from the grandmother's mother that she gave the grandmother when she was fifteen and immigrating from China. Then Julie and Ivy's dolls get stolen, and 'though the dolls are worthless, they try to discover why someone would want to steal them and what it has to do with the note, if anything.
It was an interesting story, history-wise. I liked the immigration aspect, and I like that it was about dolls, 'cause I like dolls. I just discovered the American Girl mysteries at our library and I think I'll look into more of them.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Book Review of Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives by Gene Barretta

Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives is Gene Barretta's latest release about Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, electric pen, storage battery, and so much more. It has a similar style to Barretta's other two biographical non-fiction picture books: Neo Leo and Now and Ben. It's not so much a biography as it is a record of Edison's technological achievements. On the surface you might not think that a book about an older man's achievements would be very appealing to young children. You'd be wrong. My girls found it immensely appealing.

Barretta showcases technology that we in the modern world take for granted, things we use everyday without a second thought. He juxtaposes a page showcasing present-day technology with pages showcasing the technology coming out of Edison's lab, showing how those early technological accomplishments made today's technology possible. Fun to read and very informative, with clear and simple text that is easily understood by kids of the target age group. The illustrations provide a perfect visual accompaniment that is immensely appealing.

My nine year old non-fiction-loving Olivia saw it in the Amazon shipment that arrived a few months ago, snatched it up and ran off to her bedroom. (I had pre-ordered it so it would arrive on its release date.) She came back shortly with a huge smile on her face and spent the next twenty minutes telling me everything she learned from the book. She had never before thought about the origins of the technology that she uses daily. The book has gotten a lot of mileage since then. I love great non-fiction picture books.

I nominated this book for the CYBILS 2012 in the Non-Fiction Picture Books category.

Published in July 2012 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Book Review: The Cloud Spinner By Michael Catchpool and Illustrated by Alison Jay

In this lovely, dreamy fable, a wise young boy spins clouds into cloth under the stricture "Enough is enough and not one stitch more." One day a greedy king spies his cloud-woven scarf and wants more, more, more, despite the young boy's warnings. When the king's greed dries up the clouds, it's up to the observant princess and the wise boy to set things right.

Released as Cloth From the Clouds in Britain, this story has a universal appeal for both boys and girls, and works beautifully for a read-aloud. Catchpool employs the stricture from the story, using just enough words to convey the story and "not one [word] more." Further, he understands the need for key (non-annoying) repetitive phases that keep the story anchored, and delivers his message of conservation in a gentle but effective manner. Brilliantly done.

 The only book we've read previously by Michael Catchpool is his Where There's a Bear, There's Trouble, which was (and still is) universally adored by all three of my girls as toddlers. (Susanna, at five, still loves it and I still see the older two pulling it out of the bookshelf to read themselves on occasion.)

Alison Jay's deceptively simple, gorgeous folk art illustrations pair perfectly with this story. The colors are so beautiful. My children delighted in the cloud shapes and the smiling hills. (See the one on the cover?) I have loved her art since I first saw it on the original covers of Shannon Hale's Bayern series (The Goose Girl, Enna Burning and River Secrets. Click on the links to see the original covers.)

Bottom line: This book was definitely worth the purchase and I know it will be read again and again in the Neal house.

I nominated this book for the 2012 CYBILS in the Fiction Picture Book category.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book Review: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser

From the back cover: "Nancy Clancy has everything she needs to be a super sleuth (that's a fancy word for detective): She has a glamorous magnifying glass complete with rhinestones, a totally professional pink trench coat, and a sleuthing partner with awesome code-breaking skills--her best friend, Bree.
  Now all she needs is a good mystery to solve. But when crime strikes right in the middle of her classroom, will Nancy have what it takes to crack the case?"

Little girls who have grown up with the Fancy Nancy picture books and early readers will rejoice to learn that Nancy has grown with them, and is featured in her first chapter book and solving crime in her own inimitable Fancy Nancy style. (I think she is in second or third grade, although I can't find any place in the book that mentions her age or grade.)

When my girls spotted this in Costco a few months ago, they both instantly clamored to be the first to read the book. Olivia won the coin toss and was completely tickled by the Nancy Drew mentions. (Nancy Drew is Olivia's favorite super sleuth.) I had to stop her from reading parts out loud and ruining it for Karina.

It's a quick read. Both girls read it in short order, and both really enjoyed it.

And they're both anxiously awaiting the next book, due out in January 2013, Nancy Clancy: Secret Admirer.

Published in 2012 by Harper Collins.
Ages 6 and up.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Review: The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer

From the publisher: "Unscathed from the wars, Gervase Frant finally returns to his father's estate to claim his title as the new Earl of Stanyon. But his stepmother's resentment and his half brother's open disdain put a chill on Gervase's welcome. Now he must establish himself as the new head of the house . . . and ignore his family's rising hostility.  Then Gervase's eye is caught by a lovely young woman -- the same woman already much in favor with his half brother. Now the brothers face direct competition as they bid for the lady's attentions. But as Gervase struggles to maintain a gentlemanly balance, he begins to find himself the victim of repeatedly cruel accidents. Soon it becomes increasingly clear that someone wants the new Earl of Stanyon dead . . ."

Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors. I've read most of her books and reread my favorites periodically. I couldn't remember reading The Quiet Gentleman before, but as I got into it, I started remembering things that were going to happen. But it's not going on my list of favorites by Georgette Heyer. Obviously not very memorable for me, I find this one of her most boring books, but on the whole it's not a bad read. The characters were marvelous but I thought it suffered from pacing problems. The mystery aspect of the book (who is trying to kill the main character) was quite boring and predictable. The romantic aspect was very understated, almost nonexistent, except at the last part of the book. The characters were the only reason I kept reading.

Originally published in 1951.
My copy was published in 1952 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review: Mrs Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater

From the publisher: "Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they’re amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a porch, and a statue of a cat. And they’re even more amazed when that cat starts to talk. . . . Welcome to the world of Mrs. Noodlekugel, where felines converse and serve cookies and tea, vision-impaired mice join the party (but may put crumbs up their noses), and children in search of funny adventures are drawn by the warm smell of gingerbread and the promise of magical surprises."

This book would have been ideal for my newly emerging readers:  it has a kid-appealing story with just enough fantasy, folly, and humor (and plenty of charming black-and-white illustrations by Adam Stower) to keep a beginning reader's attention, in addition to great cover appeal (for girls, anyway.) But be aware that this book has a limited readership, given that the text is overly simplistic (quite Dick-and-Jane-ish, just in longer chapter form.) It is, in effect, a long beginning reader, when the child has mastered the basics but still needs some help. 

The problem is that the publisher's info page of the book makes no mention of the ages for which it's suited.  Upon further research online, it is listed for the 5 to 10 age group, but again, just be aware that this is for young beginning readers. They will likely be the only ones excited about the story. (Both my older girls tried reading the book. My nine-year-old brought it back to me after a couple of pages, declaring it a book for babies and utterly annoying. My seven-year-old persevered to the end, declaring it a cute story, but written for "little kids." She hadn't heard her sister's scorn of the book, as she was asleep the night her sister tried to read it.)

Published in March 2012 by Candlewick.