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by Marlane Kennedy . . .

Eleven-year-old Mildred has one thing on her mind: growing gigantic pumpkins! 

And, she's determined to win the Pumpkin Show (a real event, btw), in Circleville, Ohio.  Mildred's got lots of things going for her: the right seeds; years of research; a helpful friend; a supportive father.

Unfortunately, Mildred has things going wrong for her, too:  pesky pets; unpredictable weather; a tough competitor; and a busybody aunt who wants to 'normalize' the motherless Mildred, by shifting Mildred's focus away from pumpkins into more girlish activities.

From the first couple of sentences:  I don't think I'm abnormally obsessive. I mean, Daddy hasn't taken me to the doctor or anything to find out for sure, so I prefer to describe myself as focused,  the reader gladly joins Mildred on her very focused goal; to win the Pumpkin Show.

I loved this book, especially the endearing, humorous voice of Mildred. I read it in one sitting, crazy to find out the fate of her pumpkin.

And I'm not the only fan! I had the good fortune to meet Marlane at the Circleville Pumpkin Show, where I saw a long line of young girls and their mothers, all waiting to get their books signed. Since Marlane had done several school visits, many of the kids had already read it.  One little girl (who was clutching this book to her chest) breathlessly told me it, "it's my favorite book ever!"
#1 - November 04, 2007, 06:15 AM


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