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From the PublisherStarred Review, Booklist, August 1, 2009:
"LeFleur proves she is an author to watch in this debut novel."
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2009 Parents' Choice Approved Seal winner
It was fun at first, playing house.
I made all my own meals. Crackers and cheese, three times a day.
I watched whatever I wanted on TV, all day.
It'd been a good three days: crackers and cheese for breakfast, TV; crackers and cheese for lunch, TV; crackers and cheese for dinner, TV, bed. Nothing to think about but TV and cheese. A perfect world.
Then I ran out of cheese.
There wasn't anything left in the freezer. The veggie drawer in the fridge had drippy brown lettuce and stinky carrots. A container of milk sat on the shelf. I opened it. It smelled awful, too, so I put the cap back on and shoved it to the back of the fridge.
I checked my room for snacks. I peeked at the lower shelf of my nightstand, where I had set a plate with two chocolate-covered cookies for Jilly, the way Savannah always did. Jilly's cookies used to disappear, but I couldn't seem to get her to come around anymore. Savannah probably ate the cookies herself. I picked one up and bit it, but it was hard stale.
I had to go shopping. I needed a break from TV anyway. I got some money from my sock drawer, taking just two of the twenty-dollar bills left over from my birthday. It was so long ago, my birthday. On the day I turned eleven, I didn't think I would be using the money in Gram's card to buy my own groceries.
Everything was different now.
I didn't want anyone at the store to notice me, so I put on a hat and sunglasses, like a movie star walking around a city.
I put my backpack on and set out for the grocery store. It was nice to be outside for a change. The summer air felt really hot, though, and soon there was sweat under my hat and running down my face behind the glasses. The disguise wasn't as glamorous as it had seemed.
I was excited to pick out anything I wanted at the store. I went to the aisle with the SpaghettiOs and lifted my sunglasses to examine the cans. I wanted the ones with meatballs. Savannah likes the plain ones. No, she liked--Savannah had liked the plain ones–
I suddenly felt very sick, there in the canned-goods aisle.
But I needed food. I put five cans of SpaghettiOs with meatballs into my buggy.
Because I wanted to run a healthy household, I figured I needed some vegetables. I got two cans of corn and one of green beans. I picked out a box of Cheerios and a half gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and sliced-turkey-and-ham packages, and a bag of apples. I realized my backpack would feel heavy and figured that that was enough to eat, for a few days anyway.
I paid and made it out of the store without anyone recognizing me. I stopped at a bench and zipped the paper grocery bag into my backpack. I adjusted my hat and sunglasses and started to walk home, but that was when I noticed the pet store next to the grocery.
I wasn't on a schedule or anything. I had time to go inside.
A bell jingled on the door as I opened it. The store had a heavy smell of animals and the sounds of many noisy birds chirping.
There were three puppies in glass cages. I pressed my hand to one of the windows and the baby dog jumped against it.
That would be fun, to have a dog.
I took the wad of leftover money out of my pocket and looked at it. The puppies cost hundreds of dollars each. Even the rest of the money in my birthday card wouldn't have been enough.
In the back of the store were tanks of fish. In front of the tanks were rows of individual little bowls, each with one colorful fish inside. The sign said betta fish $3.99.
On the very end of the row of bowls was a blue fish with purple-edged fins. He was looking right at me and waving one of his fins.
I wiggled my finger back at him, and looked at the money in my hand again.
I carefully carried the bowl to the counter. The lady there saw me coming and slapped a container of food down.
"It's two dollars extra," she said.
"That's fine, ma'am." I watched as she moved my fish into a plastic bag, tied it, and handed it to me.
"What's his name?" she asked.
"Sammy," I said.
I held his bag carefully in my hand the whole way home.
I had everything I needed to run a household: a house, food, and a new family. From now on it would just be me, Aubrey, and Sammy--the two of us, and no one else.
We'd had a fish before, a goldfish. I found her old bowl with blue pebbles under the kitchen sink. I hummed as I rinsed the pebbles without soap to keep Sammy's water suds-free. I made the water a little warm and dumped Sammy into it with his old water. I set him on my dresser.
"Welcome home," I told him.
Footsteps sounded on the porch. I froze and listened. Mail pushed through the slot. The metal flap slammed shut and I jumped. I caught my breath and tiptoed to the door to look at the mail. It was starting to pile up. I hadn't touched it in four days. A lot of it was still addressed to Gordon Priestly. Dad. A kids' magazine came for Savannah. Highlights. I gave the mail a good kick and went back to the kitchen to make a sandwich.
Posted March 12, 2010
Love, Aubrey is the story of a young girl who has been abandoned by her mother after her father and sister have been killed in a tragic car accident. Aubrey is able to work through this experience with the help of a caring counsellor who challenges her, a loving grandmother who provides structure in her life, and two friends who genuinely care for her. The only criticism I would have of the story is that the character of Aubrey's best friend shows greater wisdom and acceptance of Aubrey and her problems than the traditional ten year old would have. Overall, though, the story is well-written and poses a lot of opportunities to talk with students about their treatment of others and the way to deal with difficult circumstances.
35 out of 36 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2011
This book is an amazing book! Its soooooo interesting and good!!!! Its a little sad but i still recomend on reading this fasinating book!!!! Its better then five stars!!! It deserves about one-hundred stars or more!!!! Read it! It will chance your life forever in a good way!!!!!!!!!!!!
22 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 7, 2009
Aubrey Priestly has eaten the last of the cheese and crackers and finished the juice in the refrigerator. There is nothing left to eat so she takes the birthday money Gram sent and heads to the store. She knows she can buy groceries and take care of herself, but she's worried about what might happen if someone finds out she is eleven and living alone.
Tragedy struck and took Aubrey's sister and father, and now her mother has been gone for days. Aubrey thought it was best to ignore the constantly ringing telephone since she had no idea what to tell any caller that might ask to speak to her mother. However, one afternoon she just couldn't ignore the repeated ringing of the doorbell. When she opened the door, she found Gram standing on the porch.
What follows is Aubrey's concerned grandmother bustling about asking questions about how long she's been alone and then giving instructions about what to pack since Gram is taking Aubrey back with her. They ride the train from Virginia to the familiar old house in Vermont. Used to visits only on holidays, it seems strange to be moving in with Gram, but it's a relief to have someone taking care of her again.
Aubrey gradually opens up to her grandmother as the two of them work to adjust to the tremendous changes in their lives. But even with Gram's loving care, a new best friend living right next door, and a helpful counselor at her new school, Aubrey finds the most relief when she writes letters to the loved ones now missing from her life.
LOVE, AUBREY is the first novel by Suzanne LaFleur. The story is filled with emotion. The heart-wrenching sadness Aubrey experiences as old memories begin to surface are sure to bring tears to the eyes of even the most jaded reader. LaFleur shows Aubrey dealing with grief and loss as she struggles to understand her feelings and the confusing choices made by her grieving mother.
This is a powerful story about love, loss, and healing that goes far beyond its targeted middle grade audience.
21 out of 26 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 3, 2012
This book was so amazing! I couldn't put it down! It made me cry a few times but made me thankfull for my life. I recomend this book to anyone! It is like a rolercoaster with its ups and downs. With an ending that will surprise you!
16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2012
This book was amazing. Thd moment i picked it up i could stop. I actually cried while reading it. It made me think about life. I would recommend this book.
11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2012
Posted October 19, 2012
I cried soooo much and if i wasnt crying i was SMILING!!!!!!!!
THIS DESERVES 10000000000000000000000000000000000000 000000000000000000
9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 10, 2012
This book is really good. I became emotionally attached to the character, and her letters were so moving. She questioned why she lived, why her mother left her, why life was so unfair; so many people can relate to her especially after a tragedy. The book was moving and so much was understood if you "read between the lines" while some of it was said out loud. I cried 8 times reading it, feeling her pain and happiness.
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2012
Posted February 15, 2012
Posted March 6, 2012
Posted February 26, 2012
Posted January 25, 2012
Posted January 12, 2012
Posted January 12, 2012
Love, Aubrey is an awesome book, I suggest for anyone to read it. It’ll keep you guessing, and make you laugh, and it’ll make you sad at times. It’s a great book.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2012
It's a great book so far even though im on page 9...My friend told me a little about it and it sounded great so i decided to buy it on my NOOK..
..PEOPLE NEED TO READ IT!!!!!!!!
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2012
I first started reading this book during PSSAs in my teacher's "library" I was stuck and every time i got a chance I read this book. I even remembered my page number. Wich believe me, is an accomplishment. I bought it as soon as possible and i finished it in one day. Great read.
4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2012
Posted December 7, 2011
Wow best book I have ever read . Sad at times but makes you greatful for every thing . So happy that i picked this up to read . It realy touched me i think all girls 9+ should read this . Will change how u think and feel for ever, in a good way !
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2011