Laura Geringer Books, Harper Collins, 2010
for: Middle grades
The summer between 5th and 6th grades becomes one unlike any other, a summer of missing her best friend, and the first summer full of free time that she must learn to live with something that she feels makes her an entirely different person. Months earlier, Verbena has discovered a secret that she's trying to wrap her head around. She, of course, has a difficult time figuring everything out (she's only eleven after all). Then a boy a few years younger than her moves into the abandoned house next door for the summer. This gives Verbie an opportunity to become someone else for awhile.
"Pooch" and Verbena spend time resurrecting and repairing an old wooden rowboat on the lake that's through the woods behind their houses. This allows them to get to know each other a bit, learning each others strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncracies. But because of this, unexpected danger comes very close to striking.
Told in the first person, Sarah Weeks does a pretty decent job of allowing us into Verbena's head. The last paragrah tells of the year to follow and how everything came together for her. I don't think that last paragraph was really needed. Weeks had more or less said that Verbie was moving in the right directions, that things would be okay, and the race through her 6th grade year didn't seems to end this otherwise smart book very well.
I like Verbena wearing her nightgown for two days, inside and out. I like that she's naturally curious. I like how much she loves her parents. I like the habit she has of pushing her glassses up and down her nose...and I like that she wears glasses. I like her relationship with her three-legged dog, Jack.
Sarah Weeks' website is here.
Her blog is here. It's only updated once in awhile, but worth a peek.
1 day ago