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Me and the Pumpkin Queen
     

Me and the Pumpkin Queen

4.0 16
by Marlane Kennedy
 

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Mildred's Guide to Growing a Giant Pumpkin

1. Get the right seeds. These days, no one grows a Pumpkin Show winner without Howard Dill's Atlantic Giant seeds.

2. Convince your dad that having a pumpkin patch in your backyard is a good idea.

3. Make sure that your dogs stay far, far away from your seedlings.

4. Don't let your busybody aunt

Overview

Mildred's Guide to Growing a Giant Pumpkin

1. Get the right seeds. These days, no one grows a Pumpkin Show winner without Howard Dill's Atlantic Giant seeds.

2. Convince your dad that having a pumpkin patch in your backyard is a good idea.

3. Make sure that your dogs stay far, far away from your seedlings.

4. Don't let your busybody aunt interfere with your "pumpkin obsession," no matter how much she wishes you were interested in boys or clothes or anything other than pumpkins.

5. Find a best friend who can help out in a pinch.

6. Never, ever, ever give up.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
Eleven-year-old Mildred is determined to raise a prize-winning giant pumpkin. She has been trying for four growing seasons, only to be disappointed by stunted growth, unstoppable cracks, and a nasty incident with a fungus. Mildred's mother died before getting a chance to enter the Circleville Pumpkin Show and Mildred wants to bring home that prize more than anything else. Also involved are Mildred's veterinarian father, a generally disapproving aunt, and her best friend Jacob. What could have been a very one-note story has been fully fleshed out with characters the reader will both understand and fall in love with. Mildred is a very appealing, very real eleven year old, with eleven-year-old problems (her Aunt insists it is time for her to shop for proper female undergarments), a loving but slightly distracted father, and a singular determination to succeed where everyone has told her she will fail. When Mildred's prize pumpkin is finally delivered to the festival weigh-in, readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting for the blue ribbon announcement. This is a refreshing and uplifting story that will have wide appeal for middle grade readers and would be an excellent addition to any collection.
Kirkus Reviews
"I don't think I'm abnormally obsessive. I mean, Daddy hasn't taken me to the doctor or anything to find out for sure, so I prefer to describe myself as focused." With that promising opening, Mildred introduces both herself and her raison d'etre: her goal of winning the blue ribbon for biggest pumpkin at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Certainly any reasonably objective observer would describe Mildred's interest as obsessive, as she spends all of her money, time and energy on her pumpkins, determined to beat the obnoxiously patronizing Grover Fernhart at the weigh-in. Newcomer Kennedy presents readers with a winsomely single-minded heroine and her lovingly supportive supporting cast, the friends and family who (mostly) give her the space to pursue her dream. Weaving unexpectedly fascinating pumpkin-horticulture facts into the tale, the narrative presents Mildred with one real opponent: her childless Aunt Arlene, who wanted to adopt Mildred when her mother died and who persists in trying to turn her into a normal little girl. The psychologizing of Mildred's grief is unsubtly telegraphed, but withal it's a warmhearted and genuine offering that demands little and gives much. (Fiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061974014
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
969 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Me and the Pumpkin Queen MOB

Chapter One

I don't think I'm abnormally obsessive. I mean, Daddy hasn't taken me to the doctor or anything to find out for sure, so I prefer to describe myself as focused. A lot of kids my age are focused. Like Arnie Bradford. He is focused on basketball. Every time we drive by his house on our way to town, he is in his driveway shooting baskets. Even in the middle of winter. Then there is Gloria Mathis. She is all the time blathering about this teenage actor she is in love with. She cuts his picture out of magazines and plasters them all over her school notebooks.

But truth be told, they are focused on the usual kinds of things that kids all over the place are focused on. Like there are probably hundreds of thousands of fifth graders into basketball and popular actors. It just so happens that my thoughts are consumed with something out of the ordinary. Daddy isn't worried about me at all. But Aunt Arlene sure is.

Me and the Pumpkin Queen MOB. Copyright (c) by Marlane Kennedy . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Marlane Kennedy moved to Circleville, Ohio, at age eleven. She participated in many Pumpkin Show parades as a child, but never tried growing her own giant pumpkin. But after writing Me and the Pumpkin Queen, she planted her own Howard Dill's Atlantic Giant seed and grew a 250-pounder, pictured above, that took fifth prize in her local fair. Marlane Kennedy is also the author of The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes. She lives in Wooster, Ohio, with her husband and three children.

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Me and the Pumpkin Queen 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who knew a book about pumpkins could be so entertaining and exhilarating. This book touches on everything from single-parent families to a young girl's coming of age and determination to make her deceased mother proud. Mildred's determination, anticipation, and sometimes disappointing attempts at growing the largest pumpkin for the annual festival, grabs and keeps the reader's attention throughout the book. I only wish I could have read this book before I attended the Circleville Pumpkin Festival back in the 1990's. Growing a prize pumpkin such as Mildreds, definitely takes knowledge, patience, and hard work. A very light-hearted and wonderful read. The characters in this book are truly realistic and well portrayed. We can all relate to having a family member, such as Mildred's Aunt Arlene, that can create drama in our lives as well as having a true friend such as Mildred's friend Jacob, that knows what you're thinking without speaking. This story is set in a rural community outside of Columbus in Circleville, Ohio. Every year on the third Wednesday of October, one can visit Circleville and see hundreds of thousands of visitors all on a quest to see the largest pumpkin and eat a variety of foods made with, you guessed it....Pumpkins. A fantastic children's book that can capture a variety of audiences! Well done!
Jenna Gay More than 1 year ago
One of the Best book ever
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being from central Ohio, the Circleville Pumpkin Festival brings back memories when I read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The FARTKIN queen!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book i read it at school it took me about a few days this book reminds me about when i got to be a safety patrol because i checked this book from the library on that day
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the perfect book for fourth graders. I read it a while ago and thought it was a pretty good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little slow in the beging perfect 4th grade book mostly good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutly loved this book.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Mildred dreams big dreams in the shape of a pumpkin. This may seem strange to some people, and it especially does to her Aunt Arlene, who's convinced Mildred should start acting and dressing like girls her own age. It's not normal, according to Aunt Arlene, for 11-year-old girls to spend every single summer cultivating a tiny seed and trying to grow it into a giant pumpkin. Even if it is to win the Circleville Pumpkin Show's giant pumpkin contest.

But to Mildred, it makes perfect sense for her to try to make her mother's wish come true. The former Pumpkin Show Queen died when Mildred was only six, but Mildred still remembers how much she loved those huge pumpkins, and that she'd mentioned a desire to take home the prize for the largest pumpkin.

So, with the help of her veterinarian father and her best friend, Jacob, Mildred once again sets out on her pumpkin growing adventure, with her eye on the prize.

Librarians across the country are already selecting this book as a top choice for young students, and I can see why. The narrative voice is strong, and Mildred's control over her own world is enviable. Some challenges on her road to success bring the story home and have the reader rooting for the little girl with the big dreams.

Look for this genuinely sweet read on the shelves!
longofan More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Some parts of the book is to slow for me but it really touches my heart:) !!!!!!!!