Maddie has big-city dreams, and this summer she's found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait painting contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different plans for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens? And worse, her new age mother's attempts at pig reiki are an embarrassment. But Maddie ...
Maddie has big-city dreams, and this summer she's found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait painting contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different plans for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens? And worse, her new age mother's attempts at pig reiki are an embarrassment. But Maddie befriends the farmer's daughter, Anna, and between dodging her mother and doing her chores, she finds the perfect subject for the portrait contest.
"Maddie is an energetic protagonist young readers will readily identify with and want to follow through her ordeal. They will understand Maddie's anger at being pulled from her own life into her mother's chaotic world...The details of a first-time-farm experience seen through Maddie's eyes are diverse and completely genuine, and Goerzen succeeds in adding depth to an otherwise predictable mother-daughter breakaway story with a subplot that takes Maddie into a world that is more complex than what she imagined New York city would be and one which ultimately lifts her out of herself. Recommended."
"Goerzen writes well from a teen perspective, capturing Maddie's smart-alecky but self-conscious attitude, especially toward her oblivious mother."
"Readers will identify with the disagreements and the embarassmet Maddie's mother causes for her at times. They will also identify with the need to find their own way in the world and the power a friend can provide on that journey."
- Cynthia Levinson
Fifteen-year-old Maddie Turner, who lives in Vancouver, is dying to spend a week this summer visiting art galleries in New York City. She even has a plan—to win a magazine's young-artists competition, the first prize for which is a week in the Big Apple. However, her mother, a tarot-card-reading hippie disguised as a bookkeeper by day, is planning yet another mother-daughter summer "adventure." This time it is organic farming, and she's already made plans for them to go—before the magazine's deadline. Their first job at the Friesens' farm is to muck the goat shed where a goat chomps on Maddie's ruffled skirt and stains her favorite Andy Warhol t-shirt. She also has to deal with the Friesens' fifteen-year-old daughter, Anna, who seems bored with the series of week-long volunteers. When the girls discover their mutual love of art, they quickly become friends. Anna even saves Maddie's mother from an angry sow. Maddie decides to enter a drawing of Anna's beloved, pregnant 4-H cow, Frida Cowlo, in the competition. However, after Frida dies during calving, Maddie gives Anna the picture instead. She wins a prize anyway after Anna submits a copy of it to the magazine. The story is simple and straightforward with little emotional content or believable interaction. It is unclear, for instance, why Maddie didn't think of submitting a copy. Only Maddie and her mother have discernible personalities, and her mother is ridiculously overdrawn. Readers interested in art or in organic farming might find the book, which has a clever title, mildly entertaining. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
Christy Goerzen has been writing since the age of two, when she forced her parents to be the scribes for her long, convoluted stories about sheep and faeries. Passionate about everything to do with reading and writing, Christy holds a Master of Arts in Children's Literature from the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a book reviewer, copywriter, marketing consultant, television writer, bookseller and writing mentor. She is currently the communications manager for the North Vancouver District Public Library, where she is blissfully surrounded by books and gets to work with the coolest children's librarians ever. She loves daydreaming, dancing in the kitchen, wearing costumes, and goofing off with family and friends. Born and raised on the West Coast, Christy lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her wonderful husband Joshua and two funny cats.