Sunday, November 4, 2012

More Caudills-Touch Blue and The Year Money Grew on Trees

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord is set on a remote fishing village/island off the coast of Maine. Tess Brooks, 11 year old avid sailor and lobster catcher, thinks the idea to foster children to keep their public school open could be a great idea. She hopes to get a new friend in the deal when sullen, quiet Aaron Spinney arrives. Tess tries very hard to get musician Aaron to adapt to island life but Aaron is miserable and misses his city life even if it was full of uncertainty and stress. Tess decides to connect Aaron with his mom inviting her to the island to hear him play in the local festival. This involves breaking numerous fostering rules and deceiving her family. The island life, the world at sea and local characters all ring true in this realistic funny/serious story. Cynthia Lord wrote Rules, also reviewed in this blog.
The Year Money Grew on Trees, by Aaron Hawkins is set in 1982 New Mexico. Here's your chance to experience real entrepreneurship (running your business) with a group of regular kids, lead by 8th grader Jackson Jones. Jackson needs to work over the summer and through a series of odd events decides to accept wacky Mrs. Nelson's proposition to run her dilapidated apple orchard. Her promise is that if he can make it profitable over a certain dollar figure, he can have it, TO KEEP! Well he can't do it alone of course and he gets a whole crew together to help consisting of friends and family. He manages to keep them inspired and hard working without ever telling them about the actual deal he has with Mrs. Nelson. From summer all the way until the next fall, Jackson does the research, locates local expertise, keeps his parents from finding out too much and inspires his crew. You might think how interesting could this be, really? And the cover is pretty bad, too! It's actually an engaging, page turning story of stick-to-itiveness, resolve and ultimately doing the right thing. And you'll learn what goes into making those apples you like to eat!

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