Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Squashed" by Joan Bauer

From the cover: Ellie Morgan's life would be almost perfect if she could just get her potentially prizewinning pumpkin, Max, to put on about two hundred more pounds, and if she could lose twenty herself. Then Max would be the shoo-in champion of the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In. Minus twenty pounds, Ellie would have the courage to approach Wes, the new boy in town. But unpredictable weather is threatening Max, pumpkin thieves are running rampant, and Sweet Corn Coquette contestants are eyeing Wes. Is Ellie tough enough to go for it all?

This was a book that I picked up at the library book sale a few years ago just because it sounded slightly interesting and was only 50 cents. I'm so glad I got it, because I LOVE this book. It's sweet, funny, and will make you want to start growing giant pumpkins! The conversations between Ellie and her grandmother about growing things are particularly poignant, as is the sometimes tense relationship Ellie has with her father.

Ellie has a unique, and sometimes slightly eccentric, voice as she narrates her own story. Here's a great line from the book: "The Iowa sun crashed down like God was recharging the earth and flowed into my pumpkin who was stretching to reach his full agricultural potential." What a fabulous sentence! This is a tender book that you must read. I laugh and cry, then laugh and cry some more every time I read it.