(((FREE PDF))) ☠ Summer of the Gypsy Moths ⇔ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

As a librarian I m always on the lookout for good middle grade books I can booktalk to kids Often you don t need an exciting cover or title to sell a book to kids Heck, sometimes you don t even need to show the book at all Yet in the case of Sara Pennypacker s debut middle grade novel Summer of the Gypsy Moths I fully intend to show the cover off There you see two happy girls on a seashore on a beautiful summer s day What could beidyllic I ll show the kids the cover then start right off with, Doesn t it look sweet Yeah So this is a book about two girls who bury a corpse in their backyard by themselves and don t tell anyone about it BLAMMO Instant interest Never mind that the book really is a heartfelt and meaningful story or that the writing is some of the finest you will encounter this year Dead bodies interested readers, and if I have to sell it with a tawdry pitch then I am bloody selling it with a tawdry pitch and the devil take the details Shh Don t tell them it s of outstanding literary quality as well Convinced that her free floating mother will return to her someday soon, Stella lives with her Great aunt Louise and Louise s foster kid Angel The situation is tenable if not entirely comfortable If Stella is neat to the point of fault then Angel s her 180 degree opposite They re like oil and water, those two That s why when Louise ups and dies on the girls they re surprised to find themselves reluctant allies in a kind of crazy scheme Neither one of them wants to get caught up in the foster care system so maybe that s why they end up burying Louise in the backyard, running her summer cottages like nothing s wrong They can t keep it up forever, but in the process of working together the two find themselves growing closer, coming to understand where they re both coming from.I always knew Pennypacker could write, of course She cut her teeth on the early chapter book market Clementine, etc , which, besides easy books, can often be the most difficult books to write for children The woman really mastered the form, managing with as few words as possible to drive home some concrete emotions and feelings In Summer of the Gypsy Moths she ups the proverbial ante, so to speak Now that she has farspace to play with, Pennypacker takes her time She draws Stella and Angel into a realistically caring relationship with one another that overcomes their earlier animosity By the end of the story you understand that they really do like one another, differences of opinion and personality aside.Then there s the writing itself First and foremost, Pennypacker knows how to write some stellar lines Things like, Angel stared at me, looking like she was caught between snarling and fainting She s also ample with the humor, as when Stella goes to school after the incident and reports, Nobody seemed to notice the big sign I felt sure I wore, the one that flashed, ASK ME ABOUT MY WEEKEND Later she runs into the school librarian who always seems to be able to read her mind I know it sounds crazy, but I wouldn t have been surprised if Ms Richardson had handed me a book about kids burying people in their backyards Humor is so hard and Pennypacker is incredibly gifted in her pitch perfect, sparing use of it Finally, I always like to sit back and watch an author make the novel s point , so to speak There s usually some moment when somebody sort of says the point, whether directly or indirectly If you were watching a musical, it would be the show s big number In this particular case it comes from the lips of George, the friend of Great aunt Louise, who helps the girls out with the cabins At one point he breaks apart a sand dollar for Stella and shows her how the little pieces inside of it look like doves Says he, Now, I see a broken shell and I remind myself that something might have needed setting free See, broken things always have a story, don t they By the way, extra points to the author for making the moment between George and Stella honestly engaging and touching where, in less skilled hands, his interest could easily be misinterpreted as creepy.Another part of the reason the novel works as well as it does is that Pennypacker is capable of walking some very tricky tightropes For example, if you re writing a book where a sympathetic adult character dies near the beginning, you need to get the audience to care for that personbut not too much Kids already have this innate sense that they are immortal and adults over the age of 30 are liable to die of old age at a drop of a hat Had Pennypacker made the mistake of making Great aunt Louise too loveable and snuggly, she would have risked diverting the narrative for those kids who were grief stricken at her demise On the other hand, make the woman too distant and cold and who the heck cares if she kicks it The solution is to rely on kids cold hearted assumptions that old people die all the time while still making the woman warm enough so that we feel at least a twinge of regret that she s gone.But let s face it The real test is the dead body Because kids moving dead bodies and burying them is almost impossible to pull off in a serious novel A funny book Easy as pie But when you ve got a book like this one with a cover and title that indicates something a littlePenderwickish I claim this term in the name of librarianship than including a sequence of two kids moving a days old corpse, that requires a certain amount of finesse I spent the beginning of the book already aware of the premise waiting to see how Pennypacker would handle the situation I won t spoil it for you, but she really does make it work Sometimes it s all about tone.There were little nitpicky things that didn t quite work for me in the book, of course For example, Stella spends quite a lot of the book getting advice on the care of the house from Heloise but it takes us a good 154 pages or so before this essential plot element gets any kind of an explanation The ending also seemed a bit pat Seems to me if anyone in the press found out that two twelve year old girls had buried their guardian for an extended amount of time that could reach national news type attention Here the girls don t even really get a slap on the wrist More a light poke on the knuckle I didn t quite buy it Finally, there are moments when the book totters over the line from folksy and poignant See the sand dollar sequence into cutesy Having an old guy explain what a finest kind day is sort of veers the book in the wrong direction Fortunately it s momentary and everything falls back into place very quickly after that.There isn t much like this book out there, but reading it I had a definite sense that it would pair particularly well with Suzanne LaFleur s Love Aubrey from a couple years ago Like this book, that one did a good job of beginning with a very dark and potentially scary situation, carefully moving into safer territory and the for lack of a better term healing power of friendship And it s awesome Just awesome Pennypacker has clearly been holding out on us all these years If this is how she begins with longer chapter book fiction then I can only imagine how she will proceed A truly remarkable debut from the fingertips of a pro.For ages 9 12. (((FREE PDF))) ↠ Summer of the Gypsy Moths ↯ Stella Loves Living With Great Aunt Louise In Her Big Old House Near The Water On Cape Cod For Many Reasons, But Mostly Because Louise Likes Routine As Much As She Does, Something Stella Appreciates Since Her Mom Is, Well, Kind Of Unreliable So While Mom Finds Herself, Stella Fantasizes That Someday She Ll Come Back To The Cape And Settle Down The Only Obstacle To Her Plan Angel, The Foster Kid Louise Has Taken In Angel Couldn T Be Less Like Her Name She S Tough And Prickly, And The Girls Hardly Speak To Each OtherBut When Tragedy Unexpectedly Strikes, Stella And Angel Are Forced To Rely On Each Other To Survive, And They Learn That They Are Stronger Together Than They Could Have Imagined And Over The Course Of The Summer They Discover The One Thing They Do Have In Common Dreams Of Finally Belonging To A Real Family Suppose I told you that there was a book out this year in which a pair of 11 year old girls find their foster parent dead, and then elect to bury her in the backyard and continue on with their lives Who would you think had written such a book Jack Gantos Polly Horvath Roald Dahl, in a long lost manuscript only recently rediscovered What if I told you that it was actually by Sara Pennypacker, the author of Clementine, and that instead of being a black comedy, or a surreal, Daniel Pinkwater style excursion, its closest tonal comparison was to a Hallmark Original Movie If you re anything like me, your final reply was something like, Wait what And the single biggest problem with Summer of the Gypsy Moths, the Sara Pennypacker book in question, is that it never gets past that reaction, never finds a way to seem plausible or to allow for the suspension of disbelief.Part of the issue is that the characters seem muchlike a collection of overly precious quirks than like real people Stella, the narrator and one of the aforementioned 11 year olds, is obsessed with a newspaper household advice column called Heloise s Hints fills in the narratives of Reader s Digest Condensed Books with sections about cleaning can sense when something is wrong and rhapsodizes in her narration like someone auditioning for a part in a Nicolas Sparks movie Angel, the other 11 year old, is in foster care because her mother was a singer who died in a car accident, and her father was a fisherman who drowned in an accident because his boat didn t have enough life jackets conducts seagulls on the beach into flight and faithfully watches her dead foster parent s soap opera so that she can give daily reports over the grave There was not a single point during the book that I believed in either of them asthan authorial constructs Kids with disrupted lives can certainly develop odd habits as coping skills, but in real life, those habits rarely look quite so much like literary devices.But, theI think about it, theI think there might not have been any possible way for Summer of the Gypsy Moths to succeed, because however you look at it, it s still a positive, life affirming, ostensibly realistic book about a pair of preteens who bury their caretaker in the backyard The tone and plot are so terribly mismatched that it might not have mattered if the characters were Anne Shirley and Lyra Belacqua, or if it were co authored by Beverly Cleary and Laura Ingalls Wilder The problem isn t simply one of execution, but one that exists on the conceptual level itself.I don t think Sara Pennypacker is a bad writer even in a book as unsuccessful as Summer of the Gypsy Moths, there s some excellent prose, and she is, after all, still the author of Clementine But I think the sooner she puts this one in her rear view mirror, the better. I started this a while ago and put it down when it seemed to be headed in a direction that didn t work for me Then a friend on an award committee asked me to read it so now I have I can certainly see kids who like a certain sort of realistic novel Rules, So.B It enjoying this one I did as it has some very nice touches the development of each girl s backstory, some very lyrical writing, and a lovely setting But my reading was always compromised by the fact that I still found the situation improbable that none of the adults checked in on these girls or on Louise over so many weeks just seemed impossible I know we have to suspend disbelief, but this is a realistic novel and I found this hard to believe That George didn t need to speak to Louise once I mean, the poor woman had a broken bone and wouldn t he have wanted to chat with her firsthand He was so amiable and willing to leave the girls alone and accept that Louise wasn t free to talk to him And that she had a boyfriend That her Bingo friends weren t coming around That they had no way to get food At one point one of the vacationers buys some stuff for the girls couldn t they have asked them to buy stuff for them at other times, say food Was the diner too far to walk Kept having such questions as I read. THREE WORDS A Stunning SurpriseMY REVIEW Sara Pennypacker s Summer of the Gypsy Moths surprised me in the most delicious way Surprised me with its poignancy, humor, beauty and, most of all, with the way its story gripped my heart and still hasn t let go.Eleven year old Stella, armed with her collected household hints from infamous Heloise, loves order and rules, which is why she likes living with her great aunt Louise on Cape Cod After Stella s grandmother dies, her flighty mother abandoned her in order to find herself, so Stella must stay with Louse until her mother can prove to the authorities that she s a responsible parent Louise also takes in twelve year old Angel, a foster child and she and Stella could not bedifferent and the two girls avoid each other as much as possible But when Louise dies the two girls must work together to keep her death a secret so they won t be taken away and sent to another foster home The girls bury Louise in the garden and set out to take over her responsibilities as caretaker of four summer cottages and as they band together to keep their secret, the two girls find that maybe they aren t so different.That s a heck of a book description both the official one in the blue box and mine right But honestly, neither summary can really do this book justice because Summer of the Gypsy Moths is such a wonderfully layered, written and entertaining MG book that one must simply read to fully appreciate BUT I ll do my best to explain why I loved this book and why you really must read it.Sara Pennypacker has crafted a stunning and startling story of heartache and hope, and has done so with bone deep and heart touching honesty, tenderness, beauty and thought provoking situations For some readers, the idea of two young girls burying their dead caretaker may make them wary and raise some eyebrows, but trust me when I say that the story couldn t unfold in any other way and Pennypacker handles this unusual situation with the utmost care and sensitivity The story is told from the vulnerable, yet captivating point of view of young Stella, and Pennypacker has captured the voice of an eleven year old girl, who has been forced to grow up far too fast, flawlessly In fact, the entire story is pitch perfect and Pennypacker s writing is simply lovely The emotional tangibility in Summer of the Gypsy Moths is exquisite and impressive in its complexity I felt every ounce of Stella and Angel s grief, anger, confusion and hope Both Stella and Angel are superbly crafted characters and I connected intrinsically with both girls and I really miss them now that I ve finished the book Optimistic Stella relies on her handy Heloise hints and her love of order to keep her grounded and focused on the task of taking care of the summer cottages and Louise s beloved garden, while hot headed Angel rather get lost in her music than clean and worry about finances Such different personalities, yet these two girls are connected, not just by the secret they share, but by their longing to belong I found myself completely captivated with their story and enjoyed every moment of rooting for these two characters through every struggle, obstacle and pain.The vividly described Cape Cod setting makes for a fun and rich backdrop to the story Pennypacker takes her characters and her readers on a powerful and moving journey in Summer of the Gypsy Moths I really loved the way the story ended, but I must share how the story begins because Pennypacker s first paragraph is breathtakingThe earth spins at a thousand miles an hour Sometimes when I remember this, it s all I can do to stay upright the urge to flatten myself to the ground and clutch hold is that strong Because gravity Oh, gravity is no match for a force that equals ten simultaneous hurricanes No, if we aren t all flung off the earth like so many water droplets off a cartoon dog s back, it must be because people are connected somehow I like to imagine the ties between us as strands of spider silk practically invisible, maybe, but strong as steel I figure the trick is to spin out enough of them to weave ourselves into a net. taken from ARC, final paragraph may differ.MY FINAL THOUGHTS I m very much in love with Summer of the Gypsy Moths and I m in awe of Sara Pennypacker s ability to craft such a beautifully poignant story and two genuinely realistic and fascinating characters This is an absolute MUST read MG novel So many readers have already written reviews of this book that I want to add just a few comments Those who find the basic situation hard to believe may not be aware of just how desperate kids can become and how clever and independent they can be Most middle class children have closely supervised lives, but many poor or neglected children slip through the adult net and function basically on their own, using their wits So I had no problem with the idea of two girls doing what these two did In addition, in the story, I think the girls were actually on their own for four weeks not a whole summer The other element of this book that I loved was the humor Truly my kind of funny scenes, which reminded me of Hilary McKay s books. A show stopper I think everyone who reads 20 pages into this book would be completely immersed While it certainly is a bit harrowing, I think it is harrowing done right Adolescent books can be so important in providing perspective and helping children navigate difficult life concepts All children eventually need to learn about the unsettling themes in this book, and what better place to vicariously navigate those themes than in a beautifully written, well crafted book The shock value alone would grabs kids, but I worry parents and teachers might think the subject matter to be too heavy I would encourage these nay sayers to see the book as a safe vehicle into these themes.There is also beautiful symbolism, which many children s authors don t always bother to employ There is a blueberry garden whose stages follow that of the girl s development and mental health throughout their dishonest summer It is done so well, I think that some children would indeed pick up on it My only complaint is that the cover might be misleading Girls picking it up, thinking it was a whimsical story about friendship and summer fun would be rather surprised at its content, I think I was warned about its content, and was still a little shocked. If you like a character driven story then you can savor this emotional waltz through the eyes of Stella If you areof a shake n shimmy type person, then you might want a littleaction Personally I m a shimmy up the tree type person but I found the plot intriguing enough to suck me in from start to finish.Eleven year old Stella likes rules and cleanliness They give order to a not so orderly life Her mother can t take care of her Shoot Her mother can t even take care of herself Stella s grandma raised her and when she dies, Stella is stuck with mommy on the run Her mother flits from job to job, travels all over, and accepts no responsibility for her only child Dad isn t even in the picture When Stella s mom abandons her a few too many times, she has to go live with her aunt Louise When Stella arrives she finds Angel, a foster child Louise thinks would be nice company for Stella over the summer Problem Stella s like orange juice and Angel is the pulp that settles on the bottom.When Louise croaks one morning the two form an unlikely and tepid friendship as they pretend to the world that she is alive No way are they going to go to foster homes And don t worry This isn t a spoiler considering the author tells you by the third paragraph that Louise dies Actually, I found it hard to get past that foreshadowing I thought, ugh this is going to be a sappy, sad book I m gonna love this character and then, POW, she s killed off But Pennypacker has the plot go kerflooey and pulls a Jack Gantos The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs they don t stuff Aunt Louise but they have her propped by the window and bury her in a grotesque and endearing way that is mesmerizing It isn t until the girls help with the cottages that I started to shake n shimmy a little But I was hooked by then and exercised a rare moment of patience.The writing is gorgeous in this book with beautiful images and strong character development Pennypacker use images of webs, destructive gypsy moths, gravity, broken objects, music, and , connecting them to the characters in the story giving depth and traits that make them identifiable to the reader As a result even a shake n shimmy gal like myself had no problem waltzing through this book.Reading Level 5.8 An uncomfortable premise to an enjoyable read.The hidden parts do not contain any true spoilers and the major event I refer to happens within the first few pages But to be kind to those who hate knowing any plot points in a book view spoiler After being abandoned by her mom, 12 year old Stella has been living with Great Aunt Louise and Angel, Louise s other foster child Then Louise goes and dies and Stella and Angel spend the summer trying to deal with those consequences.When I discuss children s books with friends, we often joke about all the orphans in children s literature But it s another thing entirely to read about two girls trying to cover up the death of their caretaker as they, in turn, become caretakers to four summer cottages on Cape Cod The girls have legitimate reasons for not calling the authorities, but it s not easy to read about Stella spraying Louise s decomposing body with Febreze, until the girls manage to bury Louise in the backyard And it s really hard to read about Stella s mom, who regularly abandons her daughter Disturbing as all that is, Pennypacker s writing is lovely lots of similes but they work and I loved the Cape Cod setting I ve stayed in those kinds of super simple cottages and there is something special about them It s gratifying to watch Stella and Angel slowly come together and support one another.I think many kids would be just fine reading this, but others might be freaked out by the death and the crappy mom hide spoiler Summer of the Gypsy Moths was not what I was expecting from the author of the charming Clementine series The title and cover implied, at least to me, a similarly innocent type of story but that didn t turn out to be the case.Two girls who have been abandoned by their mothers are living with Aunt Louise as her foster kids, although one of them is actually her great niece One day Louise unexpectedly dies of what is probably a heart attack, and the girls, reluctant to go back into the foster care system decide to bury the body in the vegetable patch instead of informing the police and spend all summer pretending that louise is upstairs in bed recovering from a broken ankle They do a good job of taking over her role as caretaker for a group of summer rental cottages with the help of Heloise and her helpful hints and they lie very convincingly to any adults who ask questions They ultimately decide to tell the truth and everything turns out quite well for all concerned Except perhaps poor Louise who has been used as garden fertilizer all summer I had a hard time getting beyond the premise of the girls burying the body in the back yard The scenes where the decomposing corpse is described, complete with flies and odors, where the girls liberally spray the corpse with febreeze and go about their usual daily business until they decide to go ahead with their plan to bury the body went a little too far along the path of the macabre for me This is another book where it appears that my opinion of it is in the minority but I notice that most reviewers of this book here are adults and I wonder what the kids this book is aimed at think of it My daughter is almost 10, so firmly in the target audience of 8 12 yr olds and this book was a tough sell for her.