May 6, 2019

Book Review: The Pumpkin War by Cathleen Young

Title: The Pumpkins War
Author: Cathleen Young
Copy Obtained: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review

About the Book from Goodreads
At the end of every summer, Madeline Island hosts its famous pumpkin race. All summer, adults and kids across the island grow giant, thousand-pound pumpkins, then hollow one out and paddle in it across the lake to the cheers of the entire town. 

Twelve-year-old Billie loves to win; she has a bulletin board overflowing with first-prize ribbons. Her best friend Sam doesn't care much about winning, or at least Billie didn't think so until last summer's race, when his pumpkin crashed into hers as she was about to cross the finish line and he won. This summer, Billie is determined to get revenge by growing the best and biggest pumpkin and beating Sam in the race. It's a tricky science to grow pumpkins, since weather, bugs, and critters can wipe out a crop. Then a surprise visit from a long-lost relative shakes things up, and Billie begins to see her family, and her bond with Sam, in a new way.

One sentence review:  A great book for anyone who has fought with their best friend or has had their family change in unexpected ways. 
Best for readers who:  Like realistic fiction or like to garden
Best Stick-with-You Image: Seriously anything about the pumpkin growing or the size of the pumpkins. That always impresses me!
Library Thoughts: This book is perfect for younger middle school students. It has a great message, and I like the uniqueness of the story with the pumpkins. 

This book had some very unique aspects. I haven't read a book where kids grow giant pumpkins, hollow them out and use them as a boat to race. That was pretty cool to read about. I think kids would find that interesting as well. The book begins with Billie planting her seedlings for that year's pumpkin, so it was fun to hear about what she all had to do. Very detailed. BUT that's not all she does. She also has a bee farm and harvests and sells honey. I loved how she did all this stuff. It makes her a great role model for any kid to show them what they are capable of if they just try! Love that. 

I will say Billie was a struggle for me at times. She could be very stubborn and blind to her own faults. That was tough for me to see beyond at points. She was so mad at her former best friend for something she thought he did, and would not even fathom to believe she could be wrong. Her actions surrounding that whole part of the story would help kids this age maybe learn better or how to act if something like that happened with a friend of theirs. That's a great learning experience for them! 

I did like the story involving the person who enters her life and her family. I won't go into to much. I don't think it would be too much of a spoiler to say who joins their lives, but I won't give that way. I thought it was something that some kids could relate to because it has happened in their family. Again - a great opportunity for them to learn how to deal with something they might be experiencing. 

Over-all great little book! Well done. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really unique and really good. I will try to check it out. Thanks for your review.