|Giant pumpkin suite|
Author: Hill, Melanie Heuiser
Twelve-year-old Rose has always been different from her twin brother. Their differences grow as she focuses more on mastering the cello. Then an accident occurs that changes Rose's outlook on life and she finds herself trying things she never would have before.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.00
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 196411
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 75709
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/17)
School Library Journal (08/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/09/17)
The Hornbook (00/11/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2017 Gr 4–6—Though Rose and Thomas are twins, Rose is much taller and two grades ahead of her brother in school. While he easily makes friends and socializes with classmates, she is a devoted student and cello player. This begins to change as Thomas embarks on a project to grow a giant pumpkin from a seed he found in the basement of their neighbor's house. The project unites an eclectic and diverse (in age and background) group of neighbors who work together to grow a pumpkin that is big enough to enter into the state fair. The book is a bittersweet tribute to the experience of growing up in a close-knit neighborhood; characters are written with care and depth. Mrs. Holling, Rose's cello teacher, is particularly nuanced. In one scene between Rose and Mrs. Holling, the older woman holds Rose's hands as she asks her not to practice so much so she can have time to be a kid (including digging in the dirt to help her brother take care of his pumpkin.) Students will identify with Rose's over-scheduled calendar and perfectionist tendencies, and would be lucky to have an understanding mentor like Mrs. Holling. At times the book feels like it may veer into saccharine territory, but the author's bold writing usually prevents this from happening. Hill describes an accident that abruptly halts Rose's cello-playing, proving she doesn't shy away from addressing complex sadness and grief. Hill strives to portray an inclusive community, though a few of the secondary characters are somewhat stereotyped. (For example, a neighbor who is Mexican speaks in a mixture of Spanish and English phrases that don't quite ring true.) However, Hill's skilled character development prevents this from being a larger problem in the book. VERDICT Fans of Sharon Creech's Moo and other books about intergenerational friendship will enjoy this book.—Celia Dillon, The Brearley School, New York - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/01/2017 Rose knows how she’s going to spend her summer—practicing her beloved cello, inching closer toward her goal of taking the top prize at the Bach Cello Suites Competition. Her twin, Thomas, is happy just to time her practice sessions and hang out with their neighbor Mr. Pickering. But the two siblings find themselves coming together to work on a larger project, a giant project, that starts with a single pumpkin seed. This debut novel is a creative account of one 12-year-old trying to figure out what defines her and how she can still be herself if one of her defining traits is taken away. Hill has created a rich world within the twins’ neighborhood, every neighbor distinct and important to the story in their own ways. The final act of their pumpkin adventure seems a little cartoonish, but the conclusion is sweet and satisfying. This is a must-read for music lovers, math enthusiasts, and all who extend the boundaries of their families to their whole block. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.