- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
Walsh's compelling novel is a well-crafted story that includes the problems facing a young girl when she is forced to protest the selling of her cousin's school to a developer by camping on the school grounds with her mother, a host of relatives and other odd characters. Narrator Callie sets the scene right at the very start. She tells the reader that not only does her mom snore loudly but now she is faced with sleeping in a tent on lumpy ground with her mom's snoring, stumbling in the dark to a stinky outhouse in the middle of the night and dealing with her cousin who she is at the moment still angry with because of being thrown from her horse, Radish. Right from the beginning, the reader can see trouble brewing. The author has all the characters nailed down nicely, from a loud speaking aunt to a grandmother who appears at the protest on the back of a motorcycle with a bunch of biker friends. Callie must face not just the school problem but also the fact that her cousin is being forced to sell her beloved horse. The plot keeps the reader interested and is a good read for kids. It raises the real-life problem of schools not having enough money for repairs and how it affects the community as a whole. Charming, humorous and well put together, there is just enough suspense and humor here to carry the reader along. The best part is that the child solves the school problem and comes to terms with her personal problems in the end. Nicely written. Reviewer: Joan Elste