Can certainly see kids who Empire of the Saviours (Chronicles of a Cosmic Warlord, like a certain sort of realistic novel Rules SoB It enjoying this one I did as it has some very nice touches the development of each girl s backstory some veryyrical writing and a Ex On The Beach lovely setting But my reading was always compromised by the fact that I still found the situation improbable that none of the A show stopper I think everyone who reads 20 pages into this book would be completely immersed While it certainly is a bit harrowing I think it is harrowing done right Adolescent books can be so important in providing perspective and helping children navigate difficultife concepts All children eventually need to earn about the unsettling themes in this book and what better place to vicariously navigate those themes than in a beautifully written well crafted book The shock value alone would grabs kids but I worry parents and teachers might think the subject matter to be too heavy I would encourage these nay sayers to see the book as a safe vehicle into these themesThere is also beautiful symbolism which many children s authors don t always bother to employ There is a blueberry garden whose stages follow that of the girl s development and mental health throughout their dishonest summer It is done so well I think that some children would indeed pick up on it My only complaint is that the cover might be misleading Girls picking it up thinking it was a whimsical story about friendship and summer fun would be rather surprised at its content I think I was warned about its content and was still a ittle shocked This was uite profound and impressive for a middle grade novel and despite its juvenile target it s a book that can be enjoyed by all ages particularly the author s remarkable depiction of Cape Cod and also the heavy underlying themes Suppose I told you that there was a book out this year in which a pair of 11 year old girls find their foster parent dead and then elect to bury her in the backyard and continue on with their Death in Mumbai lives Who would you think had written such a book Jack Gantos Polly Horvath Roald Dahl in aong Baccarat : La lgende du cristal lost manuscript only recently rediscovered What if I told you that it was actually by Sara Pennypacker the author of Clementine and that instead of being a black comedy or a surreal Daniel Pinkwater style excursion its closest tonal comparison was to a Hallmark Original MovieIf you re anythingike me your final reply was something O Colégio de Todos os Segredos like Waitwhat And the single biggest problem with Summer of the Gypsy Moths the Sara Pennypacker book in uestion is that it never gets past that reaction never finds a way to seem plausible or to allow for the suspension of disbeliefPart of the issue is that the characters seem muchike a collection of overly precious uirks than March Violets (Bernie Gunther, like real people Stella the narrator and one of the aforementioned 11 year olds is obsessed with a newspaper household advice column called Heloise s Hints fills in the narratives of Reader s Digest Condensed Books with sections about cleaning can sense when something is wrong and rhapsodizes in her narrationike someone auditioning for a part in a Nicolas Sparks movie Angel the other 11 year old is in foster care because her mother was a singer who died in a car accident and her father was a fisherman who drowned in an accident because his boat didn t have enough Zoete tranen life jackets conducts seagulls on the beach into flight and faithfully watches her dead foster parent s soap opera so that she can give daily reports over the grave There was not a single point during the book that I believed in either of them as than authorial constructs Kids with disruptedives can certainly develop odd habits as coping skills but in real Water Music life those habits rarelyook uite so much Revived likeiterary devicesBut the I think about it the I think there might not have been any possible way for Summer of the Gypsy Moths to succeed because however you Student Research Projects in Calculus look at it it s still a positiveife affirming ostensibly realistic book about a pair of preteens who bury their caretaker in the backyard The tone and plot are so terribly mismatched that it might not have mattered if the characters were Anne Shirley and Lyra Belacua or if it were co authored by Beverly Cleary and Laura
Ingalls Wilder The problem isn t simply one of execution but one that Wilder The problem isn t simply one of execution but one that on the conceptual evel itselfI don t think Sara Pennypacker is a bad writer even in a book as unsuccessful as Summer of
THE GYPSY MOTHS THERE S SOME Gypsy Moths there s some prose and she is after all still the author of Clementine But I think the sooner she puts this one in her rear view mirror the better So many readers have already written reviews of this book that I want to add just a few comments Those who find the basic situation hard to believe may not be aware of just how desperate kids can become and how clever and independent they can be Most middle class children have closely supervised ives but many poor or neglected children slip through the adult net and function basically on their own using their wits So I had no problem with the idea of two girls doing what these two did In addition in the story I think the girls were actually on their own for four weeks not a whole summer The other element of this book that I Love for Imperfect Things loved was the humor Truly my kind of funny scenes which reminded me of Hilary McKay s books Summer of the Gypsy Moths was not what I was expecting from the author of the charming Clementine series The title and cover implied ateast to me a similarly innocent type of story but that didn t turn out to be the caseTwo girls who have been abandoned by their mothers are iving with Aunt Louise as her foster kids although one of them is actually her great niece One day Louise unexpectedly dies of what is probably a heart attack and the girls reluctant to go back into the foster care system decide to bury the body in the vegetable patch instead of informing the police and spend all summer pretending that ouise is upstairs in bed recovering from a broken ankle They do a good job of taking over her role as caretaker for a group of summer rental cottages with the help of Heloise and her helpful hints and they Taking Instruction (Taboo, lie very convincingly to any adults who ask uestions They ultimately decide to tell the truth and everything turns out uite well for all concerned Except perhaps poor Louise who has been used as garden fertilizer all summer I had a hard time getting beyond the premise of the girls burying the body in the back yard The scenes where the decomposing corpse is described complete with flies and odors where the girlsiberally spray the corpse with febreeze and go about their usual daily business until they decide to go ahead with their plan to bury the body went a Language and Linguistics little too far along the path of the macabre for me This is another book where it appears that my opinion of it is in the minority but I notice that most reviewers of this book here are adults and I wonder what the kids this book is aimed at think of it My daughter is almost 10 so firmly in the target audience of 8 12 yr olds and this book was a tough sell for her. Trikes Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive and theyearn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined And over the course of the summer they discover the one thing they do have in common dreams of finally belonging to a real fami. .
Sara Pennypacker Î 1 CHARACTERS.
As a Divertimento librarian I m always on theookout for good middle grade books I can booktalk to kids Often you don t need an exciting cover or title to sell a book to kids Heck sometimes you don t even need to show the book at all Yet in the case of Sara Pennypacker s debut middle grade novel Summer of the Gypsy Moths I fully intend to show the cover off There you see two happy girls on a seashore on a beautiful summer s day What could be idyllic I Love Is a Fairy Tale ll show the kids the cover then start right off with Doesn t itook sweet Yeah So this is a book about two girls who bury a corpse in their backyard by themselves and don t tell anyone about it BLAMMO Instant interest Never mind that the book really is a heartfelt and meaningful story or that the writing is some of the finest you will encounter this year Dead bodies interested readers and if I have to sell it with a tawdry pitch then I am bloody selling it with a tawdry pitch and the devil take the details Shh Don t tell them it s of outstanding Promise at Dawn literary uality as wellConvinced that her free floating mother will return to her someday soon Stellaives with her Great aunt Louise and Louise s foster kid Angel The situation is tenable if not entirely comfortable If Stella is neat to the point of fault then Angel s her 180 degree opposite They re ike oil and water those two That s why when Louise ups and dies on the girls they re surprised to find themselves reluctant allies in a kind of crazy scheme Neither one of them wants to get caught up in the foster care system so maybe that s why they end up burying Louise in the backyard running her summer cottages ike nothing s wrong They can t keep it up forever but in the process of working together the two find themselves growing closer coming to understand where they re both coming fromI always knew Pennypacker could write of course She cut her teeth on the early chapter book market Clementine etc which besides easy books can often be the most difficult books to write for children The woman really mastered the form managing with as few words as possible to drive home some concrete emotions and feelings In Summer of the Gypsy Moths she ups the proverbial ante so to speak Now that she has far space to play with Pennypacker takes her time She draws Stella and Angel into a realistically caring relationship with one another that overcomes their earlier animosity By the end of the story you understand that they really do Bangkok Wakes to Rain like one another differences of opinion and personality asideThen there s the writing itself First and foremost Pennypacker knows how to write some stellarines Things The Right Sort of Man (Sparks Bainbridge Mystery like Angel stared at meooking Darkmere like she was caught between snarling and fainting She s also ample with the humor as when Stella goes to school after the incident and reports Nobody seemed to notice the big sign I felt sure I wore the one that flashed ASK ME ABOUT MY WEEKEND Later she runs into the schoolibrarian who always seems to be able to read her mind I know it sounds crazy but I wouldn t have been surprised if Ms Richardson had handed me a book about kids burying people in their backyards Humor is so hard and Pennypacker is incredibly gifted in her pitch perfect sparing use of it Finally I always Et si la maladie n'tait pas un hasard ? like to sit back and watch an author make the novel s point so to speak There s usually some moment when somebody sort of says the point whether directly or indirectly If you were watching a musical it would be the show s big number In this particular case it comes from theips of George the friend of Great aunt Louise who helps the girls out with the cabins At one point he breaks apart a sand dollar for Stella and shows her how the Den of Shadows (Gamblers Den little pieces inside of itook ike doves Says
He Now I See ANow I see a shell and I remind myself that something might have needed setting free See broken things always have a story don t they By the way extra points to the author for making the moment between George and Stella honestly engaging and touching where in ess skilled hands his interest could easily be misinterpreted as creepyAnother part of the reason the novel works as well as it does is that Pennypacker is capable of walking some very tricky tightropes For example if you re writing a book where a sympathetic adult character dies near the beginning you need to get the audience to care for that person but not too much Kids already have this innate sense that they are immortal and adults over the age of 30 are The Eric Carle Gift Set liable to die of old age at a drop of a hat Had Pennypacker made the mistake of making Great aunt Louise toooveable and snuggly she would have risked diverting the narrative for those kids who were grief stricken at her demise On the other hand make the woman too distant and cold
who the cares she kicks it The solution is to rely on kids cold hearted assumptions that old people die all the time while still making the woman warm enough so that we feel at Huguenot Prophecy and Clandestine Worship in the Eighteenth Century least a twinge of regret that she s goneButet s face it The real test is the dead body Because kids moving dead bodies and burying them is almost impossible to pull off in a serious novel A funny book Easy as pie But when you ve got a book Fashion Design Course like this one with a cover and title that indicates something aittle Penderwickish I claim this term in the name of Aeralis (The Frost Chronicles, librarianship than including a seuence of two kids moving a days old corpse that reuires a certain amount of finesse I spent the beginning of the book already aware of the premise waiting to see how Pennypacker would handle the situation I won t spoil it for you but she really does make it work Sometimes it s all about toneThere wereittle nitpicky things that didn t uite work for me in the book of course For example Stella spends uite a Alternatives Chapter 2 (The Chronos Files; The Shattered Saga lot of the book getting advice on the care of the house from Heloise but it takes us a good 154 pages or so before this essential plot element gets any kind of an explanation The ending also seemed a bit pat Seems to me if anyone in the press found out that two twelve year old girls had buried their guardian for an extended amount of time that could reach national news type attention Here the girls don t even really get a slap on the wrist More aight poke on the knuckle I didn t uite buy it Finally there are moments when the book totters over the Cincinnati and Other Plays line from folksy and poignant See the sand dollar seuence into cutesy Having an old guy explain what a finest kind day is sort of veers the book in the wrong direction Fortunately it s momentary and everything falls back into place very uickly after thatThere isn t muchike this book out there but reading it I had a definite sense that it would pair particularly well with Suzanne LaFleur s Love Aubrey from a couple years ago Like this book that one did a good job of beginning with a very dark and potentially scary situation carefully moving into safer territory and the for Speak Out! lack of a better term healing power of friendship And it s awesome Just awesome Pennypacker has clearly been holding out on us all these years If this is how she begins withonger chapter book fiction then I can onl. Stella I Like You the Best lovesiving with Great aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons but mostly because Louise ikes routine as much as she does something Stella appreciates since her mom is well kind of unreliable So while Mom finds herself Stella. .And Who Heck Cares
Y imagine how she will proceed A truly remarkable debut from the fingertips of a proFor ages 9 12 THREE WORDS A Stunning SurpriseMY REVIEW Sara Pennypacker s Summer of the Gypsy Moths surprised me in the most delicious way Surprised me with its poignancy humor beauty and most of all with the way its story gripped my heart and still hasn t et goEleven year old Stella armed with her collected household hints from infamous Heloise The Philosophy of Giambattista Vico loves order and rules which is why sheikes Lone Star Standoff living with her great aunt Louise on Cape Cod After Stella s grandmother dies her flighty mother abandoned her in order to find herself so Stella must stay with Louse until her mother can prove to the authorities that she s a responsible parent Louise also takes in twelve year old Angel a foster child and she and Stella could not be different and the two girls avoid each other as much as possible But when Louise dies the two girls must work together to keep her death a secret so they won t be taken away and sent to another foster home The girls bury Louise in the garden and set out to take over her responsibilities as caretaker of four summer cottages and as they band together to keep their secret the two girls find that maybe they aren t so differentThat s a heck of a book description both the official one in the blue box and mine right But honestly neither summary can really do this book justice because Summer of the Gypsy Moths is such a wonderfullyayered written and entertaining MG book that one must simply read to fully appreciateBUT I Punishment Of The Cheating Wife ll do my best to explain why Ioved this book and why you really must read itSara Pennypacker has crafted a stunning and startling story of heartache and hope and has done so with bone deep and heart touching honesty tenderness beauty and thought provoking situations For some readers the idea of two young girls burying their dead caretaker may make them wary and raise some eyebrows but trust me when I say that the story couldn t unfold in any other way and Pennypacker handles this unusual situation with the utmost care and sensitivity The story is told from the vulnerable yet captivating point of view of young Stella and Pennypacker has captured the voice of an eleven year old girl who has been forced to grow up far too fast flawlessly In fact the entire story is pitch perfect and Pennypacker s writing is simply More Punishment For His Cheating Wife lovely The emotional tangibility in Summer of the Gypsy Moths is exuisite and impressive in its complexity I felt every ounce of Stella and Angel s grief anger confusion and hope Both Stella and Angel are superbly crafted characters and I connected intrinsically with both girls and I really miss them now that I ve finished the book Optimistic Stella relies on her handy Heloise hints and herove of order to keep her grounded and focused on the task of taking care of the summer cottages and Louise s beloved garden while hot headed Angel rather get Decision lost in her music than clean and worry about finances Such different personalities yet these two girls are connected not just by the secret they share but by theironging to belong I found myself completely captivated with their story and enjoyed every moment of rooting for these two characters through every struggle obstacle and painThe vividly described Cape Cod setting makes for a fun and rich backdrop to the story Pennypacker takes her characters and her readers on a powerful and moving journey in Summer of the Gypsy Moths I really The View from Alameda Island loved the way the story ended but I must share how the story begins because Pennypacker s first paragraph is breathtaking The earth spins at a thousand miles an hour Sometimes when I remember this it s all I can do to stay upright the urge to flatten myself to the ground and clutch hold is that strong Because gravity Oh gravity I might haveiked this okay if it didn t feel so very heavy doughy or When Fox Is a Thousand leaden comes to mind There s noevity and a surprising 100 Innovations of the Industrial Revolution lack of sense of adventure Usually I eat up kids keeping house books with a spoon But in this Stella sove of housekeepingcleaning is pretty obviously pathological which takes all the fun out of itAs a Newbery possibility I don t think soThe subjects do not
come to ife as they have in Pennypacker s other books Theto ife as they have in Pennypacker s other books The is certainly well done The plot reuires arge and freuent suspensions of disbelief and I just don t think there s enough here to make up for itAnd I found it doubtful that a present day twelve year old would use the TV show Friends as a reference point especially regarding friendship I think the show is still in freuent reruns on syndication but so are others that would be obvious to a child I guess I am getting than a trifle impatient with current with contemporary middle grade novels that are #so not to my reading tastes that I cannot even be bothered to consider finishing #not to my reading tastes that I cannot even be bothered to consider finishing them as yes indeed Sara Pennypacker s 2012 Summer of the Gypsy Moths has most definitely been yet another could not finish reading attempt for me And while the entire premise of unfit mothers and their children then being taken care of by distant relatives was already rather bothering me upon starting with Summer of the Gypsy Moths as in my humble opinion there do seem to be just too many current middle grade novels on the market which continuously have the former as their main or as one of their major themes and in Summer of the Gypsy
Moths this certainly has also not been presented by Sara Pennypacker in an even remotely interesting andthis certainly has also not been presented by Sara Pennypacker in an even remotely interesting and enough fashion what finally decided me with regard to abandoning Summer of the Gypsy Moths has actually NOT been the frustratingly too standardly mundane premise of Stella being raised by her great aunt Louise because Stella s mother is clearly too immature and unfit as a parent but rather the entire and to and for me majorly improbable scenario of Louise s death and how Stella and Angel somehow and even mostly successfully manage to keep this a secret from everyone For while Louise dying and Stella and Angel not really knowing what to do is of course not something inherently improbable I certainly have found that as an adult reader I could simply not accept and believe that two youngish girls would be able to hide the reality of Louise s death from everyone that no one grew suspicious and that no one seemingly even asked uestions And indeed even my inner child was having major issues suspending my totally annoyed and piued sense of disbelief so yes I uickly and without any feelings of guilt whatsoever decided to cut my proverbial reading osses and to abandon Summer of the Gypsy Moths to consider this novel as a too strange and pretty unrealistic and as such also urelatable combination of being on the one hand too standardly predicable plot wise but on the other hand much too improbable with the actual storyline at hand to be in any manner sufficiently and bearably believable I started this a while ago and put it down when it seemed to be headed in a direction that didn t work for me Then a friend on an award committee asked me to read it so now I have Fantasizes that someday she'll come back to the Cape and settle down The only obstacle to her plan Angel the foster kid Louise has taken in Angel couldn't be The Second Sister lessike her name she's tough and prickly and the girls hardly speak to each otherBut when tragedy unexpectedly ,