The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Boy on Cinnamon Street

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

4.4 117
by Phoebe Stone

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A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won't give up on her.

7th grader Louise should be the captain of her school's gymnastics team - but she isn't. She's fun and cute and should have lots of friends - but she doesn't. And there's a dreamy boy who has a crush on her - but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her - so what is it that


A story about a wounded girl and the boy who won't give up on her.

7th grader Louise should be the captain of her school's gymnastics team - but she isn't. She's fun and cute and should have lots of friends - but she doesn't. And there's a dreamy boy who has a crush on her - but somehow they never connect. Louise has everything going for her - so what is it that's holding her back?

Phoebe Stone tells the winning story of the spring when 7th grader Louise Terrace wakes up, finds the courage to confront the painful family secret she's hiding from - and finally get the boy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
There’s a dark mystery propelling this extremely well-done novel about Louise, a tiny seventh-grader nursing a deep wound. Something so terrible happened a year earlier that she has “blocked a whole week out of conscious mind.” However, she’s still miserable, having moved from Cinnamon Street to a condo she shares with her (quirkily adorable) grandparents. Louise has changed schools, renamed herself (Thumbelina, to reflect her pint-size proportions), and given up gymnastics; her only friends are Reni and Reni’s brother, Henderson, a “volcano-loving, poetry-crazed flannel teddy bear in wire-rimmed glasses.” After Louise receives a note that reads “I am your biggest fan,” she and Reni decide it came from a hunky, high school–age, pizza delivery boy. Predictably disastrous actions ensue, but the resulting trauma is enough to shake Louise out of her torpor. Executed with wit and delicacy, Stone’s novel is made more poignant by her admission that she experienced a tragedy similar to Louise’s and reacted by blocking it out. “In fact,” she writes in her author’s note, “the healing process can only truly begin when we are willing to remember.” Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

"Most winning of all . . . is the romance itself, which bursts out in a joyful, honey-sweet dénouement that’s destined to be one of the great romantic moments in preteen fiction." - STARRED review The Bulletin of the center for Children's Books

"Extremely well-done." - STARRED review, Publishers Weekly

"An outstanding tale of love, loss and the true power of friendship." - STARRED review Kirkus Reviews

"Achingly sweet." - STARRED review, Booklist

VOYA - Kaitlyn Connors
Louise is a seventh-grade girl stuck in a petite, fourth-grade body. Because of that, she decides to change her name to Thumbelina, after her favorite book. When notes and presents from a secret admirer start appearing on her doorstep, including a copy of Thumbelina, she and her best friend, Reni, suspect the pizza delivery boy, Benny McCartney. Louise soon discovers that Benny may be more significant that she ever imagined. Only with the support of her grandparents and the affection of her true secret admirer is Louise able to come to terms with past tragedy. The Boy on Cinnamon Street offers a cute, romantic tale tinged with sadness and loss. Louise is a young girl in denial, making her a compelling character. Her flippant attitude toward her grandparents' attempts to help her remember what happened is a bit off-putting, though. The quirky characters of Reni and Henderson, the brother and sister pair who serve as Louise's best friends, are fun and intriguing, and display genuine emotions for their friend. The tragic events of Louise's life do not unfold until the end of the novel, yet a series of clues along the way help the reader crack the mystery, mirroring the process in Louise's own brain. The impact is no less shocking. Middle and junior high school students may enjoy the quick, fast-paced read for the amusing characters and budding romance, while the loss in Louise's life may muster sympathy and understanding. Readers who enjoyed Phoebe Stone's other novels may also enjoy this title. Reviewer: Kaitlyn Connors
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Her name is Louise but she wants people to call her Thumbelina. She is a middle school student the size of a fourth grader and she wants a new name to go along with her new life. She is living with her Grandma and Grandpa in their small condo on the other side of the town that she used to live in. At Grandma's garage sale Thumbelina is selling her balance beam because she has given up gymnastics. She is also selling her mother's old blue shoes. These items and others are triggering memories that Thumbelina has suppressed. She thinks that the pizza delivery boy is the one who has been leaving her notes and gifts, but something does not seem quite right. Fortunately, with the care and support of her true admirer, she is able to remember her traumatic past and start moving toward her future. This engrossing and intriguing story will keep readers spellbound. Anxious to discover the real reason for Thumbelina's memory loss and rooting for her to get the normal life she so desperately wants, readers will find it difficult to put down this riveting and well-written novel. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Living with her doting grandparents since her mother's death, seventh-grader Louise used to be a gymnast, but then she quit. She has decided that she will be called Thumbelina and have a crush on the pizza delivery guy. Her friend Reni encourages her despite her own failure to get any response from Justin Bieber. Her other friend, Henderson, is his own brand of unique, and while Thumb admires him, she doesn't quite make the connection that someone approachable could be a crush. Thumb's old house was in North Pottsboro where streets are names after spices, and the transition to South Pottsboro has left her off balance. She doesn't really recall her old life before her father left the family and her mother was unable to deal with it, but there are moments in italics where the past intrudes. A fondness for multiple adjectives and cutesy names like "Toot Toot Tourist Trolley" and "My Princess Prom" provide a light layer of froth over the very real pain that Thumb is blocking. Of course, that fog will eventually dissipate and Louise will need to use all of her four, feet seven inches to meet the challenge. The cloying quality of some of the dialogue and the obvious blindness to reality seem as superimposed as the names of the streets, but for readers looking for an emotional ride, this title will satisfy. The balance beam introduced in the first chapter provides the obvious metaphor for Louise's being off center and her need to find her own place in the world.—Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library, CO
Kirkus Reviews
Something terrible happened to seventh-grader Louise's parents, and only the kindly ministrations of an unknown admirer can pull her back from her insulating--suffocating--layers of denial. Louise lives with her quirky grandparents, vividly depicted by Stone (The Romeo and Juliet Code, 2011) as they strive to relieve the girl's obvious suffering. She's given up gymnastics, turned away from most of her peers and cut herself off from the devastating truth of her past. But some friends continue to reach out to her, especially her overweight best buddy, Reni, and Reni's tall seventh-grade brother, Henderson. After Louise discovers a note--"I am your biggest fan"--that seems to have been left by pizza–delivery boy Benny, she develops a shaky sort of crush on this all-but-unknown person. Her emotional fire is eagerly fueled by Reni's frustration with her own safely unrequited fixation on Justin Bieber. The true identity of Louise's biggest fan is gradually, achingly revealed, along with a gentle, loving exploration of the characters of these admirable, young teen protagonists. Readers of Louise's self-deprecating, sometimes funny first-person account will figure out the terrible thing that has happened to Louise, and a young man's role in her redemption, long before she does, just adding to the building suspense. An outstanding tale of love, loss and the true power of friendship. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

Phoebe Stone’s first novel, ALL THE BLUE MOONS AT THE WALLACE HOTEL, was hailed as “haunting and poetic” by THE NEW YORK TIMES. Her first novel for Arthur A. Levine Books, DEEP DOWN POPULAR, received a starred review in BOOKLIST. THE ROMEO AND JULIET CODE received two stars. And her most recent title, THE BOY ON CINNAMON STREET, received a whopping four starred reviews. Phoebe lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

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