Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Eight sisters, all born a minute apart, have lost their parents on New Year's Eve 2007. They discover a note which tells them that they each have a power and a gift but they each must discover what the power and gift are. Annie's story begins with the sisters learning how to cope without their parents and not letting other adults know about the parents' disappearance. They must go to school and endure riding the bus. Georgia realizes that Annie's gift is being as smart as an adult; another note confirms this when Annie discovers her gift. The sisters get some unexpected help from Pete the mechanic and manage to learn how to drive their eco-friendly Hummer. The girls also have to thwart the meddling of a difficult neighbor, but one wishes they would spend more time searching for their parents. With eight sisters, at least seven other adventures are to follow; hopefully the parents' plight becomes central to one of these adventures. Second or third grade girls may find the "Huit Sisters'" adventures amusing, but too often wordiness and silliness get in the way of a series of adventures about unusual multiple-birth siblings. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
Resourceful octuplets set out to discover the mystery of their missing parents. The offspring of a model father and a scientist/inventor mother, their unorthodox household includes a talking refrigerator. Guided by notes from an unknown source, each girl must unlock her secret power in order to receive a clue in solving their parents' disappearance. The presence of a villainous neighbor and the need to maintain the ruse that their parents are still around keep the girls too busy to be scared. This opener establishes a simple template for the series: The adventures unfold month by month from January to August, each volume focusing on an individual sibling's quest-in this case, Annie's discovery that she's a financial whiz. Narrated in the firstperson plural by one-or more?-of the sisters, the arch tone owes much to Snicket and the like. Weber's lively blackandwhite sketches highlight the humorous and fantastical elements of the story. BaratzLogsted's tales of thrills, suspense and hijinks should satisfy adventureseeking young readers. Book two, Durinda's Dangers (9780547133478; paper 9780547053394), publishes simultaneously. (Fantasy. 610)
From the Publisher
"Weber’s lively black-and-white sketches highlight the humorous and fantastical elements of the story. Baratz-Logsted’s tales of thrills, suspense and hijinks should satisfy adventure-seeking young readers."— Kirkus Reviews (review for Annie's Adventures)
Read an Excerpt
The story always begins the same.
Once upon a time, there were eight sisters who would all one day be eight years old. At the same time. They were octuplets, you see.
Their names were Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca, and Zinnia. They were each born a minute apart on August 8, 2000. All eight had brown hair and brown eyes. And although they were all the same exact age, give or take a few minutes, each was one inch taller than the next, with Zinnia being the shortest and Annie the tallest. And their story always begins the same, so: Please stop reading if you have read about the Sisters Eight before, and go directly to chapter one.
Please keep reading if you have not read about the Sisters Eight before.
Please keep reading if you have read about the Sisters Eight before but your memory is lousy.
Please keep reading if you have read about the Sisters Eight before but you simply like the writing here and want to read this part over and over again.
Eight girls in one story, or one series of stories. This is bad news for boys, who may suspect that there are no snails or puppy dogs’ tails in this book. However, there might be snails and puppy dogs’ tails, but the only way you will ever know this is to read further. Remember: girls can be just as grubby as boysyou just have to give them half a chance.
The family name of the Sisters Eight was Huit, which is French for eight and pronounced like “wheat,” as in cream of, which I hope you never have to eat. On New Year’s Eve 2007, as you shall soon see, their parents disappeared, or died, one of the twothis was a fine holiday present for the sisters, let me tell you. Parents disappeared, presumed dead, actually deadparents don’t fare very well in children’s stories these days, I’m afraid. Best to be a child and not a parent, then.
The Sisters Eight lived in a magnificent stone house, which you will see more of very soon. It could practically have been a castle. It was therefore not the kind of house you would want to leave under any circumstances, certainly not after your parents had disappeared. Or died. You would not want to be taken away from your sisters, separated. And so they had to endeavoras you would no doubt do tooto hang on to their home and to one another, keeping the truth away from the prying eyes of adults, who would surely split them all up like so many stalks of wheat cast upon the wind. Not an easy tasksticking together with loved oneswhen you are seven, soon to be eight.
And where was this magnificent stone house? Why, it might have been anywhere in the worldeven right next door to youso why quibble? However, if there were octuplets in your class at school, you would probably have noticed by now, so perhaps that’s not the case.
One thing was for sure: there were undoubtedly many cats in this almost castle, cats who would also have been taken away if word got out that the parents of the Sisters Eight had disappeared. Or died.
As we approach the beginning of our first adventure, it is that fateful New Year’s Eve 2007 and the girls are about to discover the disappearance of their parentsodd, the idea of discovering that which has disappearedas well as a note hidden behind a loose stone in the wall of the drawing room of their magnificent home. The note reads:
Dear Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca, and Zinnia,
This may come as rather a shock to you, but it appears you each possess a power and a gift. The powers you already haveyou merely don’t know you have them yet. The gifts are from your parents, and these you must also discover for yourselves. In fact, you must each discover both your power and your gift in order to reveal what happened to your parents. Have you got all that?
The note is unsigned.
And what has happened to their parents? Well, we don’t know that yet, do we? If we did, then this would be the end of our story, not the beginning . . .