Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

April 08, 2008

Me and the Pumpkin Queen

By Marlane Kennedy
Rating: 3 3/4 stars
Reviewed by Noelle

Mildred is obsessed with pumpkins. Giant pumpkins. Mildred lives in Circleville, Ohio, where every year the Pumpkin Festival proudly displays those giant pumpkins which can weigh well over 1,000 pounds. When little 6 year old Mildred discovers that her mother, who recently died of cancer, always wanted to try growing a giant pumpkin, her own obsession is born to grow a pumpkin her mother would be proud of. As Mildred grows older, she learns more and more about what it takes to grow a giant pumpkin, but so far, she hasn't been successful in getting one big enough and good enough to bring to the festival. Mildred's veterinarian father is understanding, but her Aunt Arlene thinks her obsession is unhealthy. What about clothes? Friends? Vacations away? The year Mildred turns eleven, she finds that growing up might include having to do and learn some things she could ignore before. As she battles Aunt Arlene's good intentions, ignores the girls at school who only care about how you look, and bonds with her best and only friend Jacob, Mildred struggles to grow her best pumpkin ever. Will she finally have one that can be displayed at the Festival? This is a light and entertaining read which is certainly an education about both pumpkin growing and growing up. With a feel good ending, readers will enjoy this fun story. For another great story about pumpkin growing pangs, read Squashed by Joan Bauer.


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