Me and the Pumpkin Queen

Me and the Pumpkin Queen

by Marlane Kennedy


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Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy

It's just something she has to do.

Mildred has always dreamed of growing a one-thousand-pound pumpkin to enter in her town's Pumpkin Show. Her aunt Arlene thinks she's obsessed, but Mildred prefers to think of herself as focused. And growing giant pumpkins is way more interesting than boys or clothes or the other girly things Aunt Arlene wants her to like. She's been trying for four long growing seasons—ever since her mama died—and every one has ended in disaster. It's not easy, especially with dogs who don't realize how delicate seedlings are, and tornadoes that could destroy months of work, and most people thinking that an eleven-year-old doesn't stand a chance. But Daddy believes in Mildred, and so does her best friend, Jacob. Maybe this will finally be her year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061140242
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/28/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 661,343
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.43(d)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About 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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Me and the Pumpkin Queen 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 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.
MrsRJ on LibraryThing 7 days ago
To honor her Mom, eleven year old Mildred is determined to win the Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Show and fulfill a dream left undone by her mother's untimely death. However, with each passing season something goes inherently wrong and her dreams are dashed again and again. Aunt Arlene is more than a bit concerned about Mildred's apparent obsession with pumpkins and tries, in her overtly pushy way, to persuade her niece to pursue more feminine interests, such as make up and fancy clothing. Thankfully, Mildred's dad doesn't agree with Auntie Arlene and continues to support his daughter and her individual dreams. Knowing and understanding his only daughter in ways that only a father can, he is able to challenge Mildred to take her future into her own hands and follow her heart with unbridled passion. Thus allowing herself to grow into the incredible young woman her mother always knew she would one day become. Kennedy's attention to detail proves this to be a well researched novel that introduces readers to the relatively unknown competitions that require much more than good seeds and luck to produce a thousand pound champion. Well crafted and heartwarming, the characters could easily be members of your own family or next door neighbors. The narrative reads like a family tale told over a huge dinner, with lots of laughs, a few tears and the busy body aunt that always means well but just can't quite find the right way to express herself without appearing... well, pushy. This is a coming of age tale that will be enjoyed by all, despite their age. A magical journey that is more about Mildred's inner growth than that of her pumpkins. Chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection, Marlane Kennedy's solo debut, Me and the Pumpkin Queen is a first place read.Happy Reading!RJ xx3Rs-Real Reader Reviews
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
11 year old Mildred is determined to grow a giant pumpkin and enter it in the Circleville pumpkin festival. A great book for kids that really drew me in.
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
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:) !!!!!!!!