Monday, June 11, 2012

Book Review: The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

The Boy on Cinnamon Street
Author: Phoebe Stone
Publication: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (February 1, 2012)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: The first thing I want to say about this book is that the author has a seventh grader's voice pitch perfect. Louise, who has changed her name to Thumbelina because she is so small, lives with her grandparents after some sort of trauma in her family. Her best friends are brother and sister Henderson and Reni. She has recently moved in with her grandparents - who are certainly unique individuals - and changed schools. She used to love gymnastics but doesn't do them anymore because she is being harassed by other girls on the squad.

The main focus of this story is a sort of mystery. Someone is leaving Thumb notes and other indications of regard. Her best friend Reni decides that it is the pizza delivery boy - Benny, who is a ninth grader at her school. She immediately starts making plans to get Benny to invite her to the upcoming dance. They find out where he lives and "casually" walk by his house. Reni puts a note which she and Thumbelina wrote together in his locker. They buy him a cute bumper sticker for his locker. They go to his house on the excuse of selling magazines in case he answers to door. Reni is sure that Thumb has a crush on Benny. Thumb is not sure she does. After all, the last crush she had was on Frosty the Snowman when she was six.

While the girls are doing their plotting and planning, Henderson is there as a sturdy and secure best friend to Thumb. Careful readers will know who was leaving the things for Thumb to find long before she figures it out. 

The startling reason for Thumb's change of name, change of address, and almost change of personality and her gradual recover make this a very heart warming story. I recommend it for thoughtful readers and think it is a great pick for a mother daughter book club.

Favorite Quote:
Henderson is wearing his favorite green and gray flannel shirt that has been washed and washed so many times, it makes him look like an overly fuzzed teddy bear. A volcano-loving, poetry-crazed flannel teddy bear in wire-rimmed glasses. Every Christmas he gets flannel shirts from everybody, even Annais, and he gets so happy about it.
I received a set of the May and June books for Scholastic's new Mother Daughter Book Club for review. This is one of the May titles. You can buy a copy here.

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