(Summary from amazon.com and image from http://rschreiber.edublogs.org/)
My Review: I was disappointed by this book. I don't know what I expected (there was no summary on the back of the book I own), but after hearing rave reviews of Sharon Creech's writing I do know I was expecting more substance to the plot of this book. The first two-thirds of the book felt random and completely pointless. Leo, the main character, was endearing enough, but the book seemed to bounce around as quickly as a 12-year-old mind does in real life. Maybe that makes it realistic? For me it was just random and distracting. Finally, by the last third of the book, you start to see where the family problems, the drama within the other characters, and the maturing process of Leo finally come together and resolve. If I were a student trying to understand a plot outline, this book would be frustrating.
There are things of value, messages such as 'things aren't always what they seem' or 'some trials are better dealt with than stuffed down deep'. I think I'll need to give some of Creech's other more famous books a chance before judging her writing too harshly. I was just not as impressed as I was previously persuaded to be.
Rating: 3 stars
For the sensitive reader: Super clean. Read away and feel free to have younger, more advanced readers give this book a try.
Sum it up: A pre-teen grows through tough family times and finds himself and his family at the same time.