Saturday, May 24, 2008
Peeled, the latest from Newbery Honor winner Joan Bauer, just hit shelves three weeks ago. When I got the ARC at TLA, I couldn't wait to read it. The cover drew me in.
Hildy lives in a small town in upstate New York with an apple-based economy. Hildy fits in her ambitions to be a journalist between her duties on the family farm- baking, picking and giving tours to elementary school kids. The big festival every year is around harvest time. She is the best writer for her high school newspaper, The Core (see the theme here?). When freaky things start happening at the old Ludlow house in town, Hildy knows it's bunk, but isn't sure how to prove it.
Hildy always uses the 5 W's in her questioning (who? what? when? where? why?) and her friends (including cute science geek Zack) to get to the truth, and doesn't skip over the hard parts. She's determined and gutsy, and doesn't even back down when the articles she prints start to make some grown ups in town angry. Hildy is a strong female protagonist and this book would be great for kids interested in journalism or creative writing. There's nothing offensive or romantic in here, so this would work for even upper elementary readers.