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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Julie M. Prince for TeensReadToo.com

    GROW is one of those books that goes down easy. It just has all those elements that makes the reader immediately relax and enjoy the unfolding story. Beginning with great voice and characterization right on the first page, the prose in verse flows right through this entire book so that it's swallowed in one smooth gulp. <BR/><BR/>Kate may be the narrator of this tale, but Berneetha is the glue that holds everything together. When Berneetha the cat lady decides to grow a garden in the middle of nothing, twelve-year-old Kate is reluctant to help. Everyone is sure to think the two of them are crazy. Except, soon it's not just the two of them. As people join the crusade to clean up the empty lot, more than just a garden is grown from nothing. <BR/><BR/>"A weed is anything growing <BR/>Where you don't want it to grow. <BR/>I don't know <BR/>where Harlan lives, <BR/>only that he looks hungry most days <BR/>and he doesn't want <BR/>to go home in the evening. <BR/>I don't think I'll tell him <BR/>about that garden-book <BR/>theory of weeds." <BR/><BR/>This emotional story is shown in brilliant illustrations by Stanislawa Kodman, whose name will stick in my mind because I cannot forget the person who created these drawings. The simple, everyday items that are twisted into beauty. Junk into treasure. The theme of the book perfectly drawn out by both author and illustrator. What a team. <BR/><BR/>And not to be overlooked is the quality of the book itself. A silky smooth dust jacket, featuring brilliantly composed illustrations by Kodman. Large, light print on the inside that makes an already easy-to-read book even easier on the eye. <BR/><BR/>The only thing missing from this book is an award sticker.

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