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Author: Ellen Airgood

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Publisher: Penguin, 2013

Material: hard cover

Summary: What is there to possibly like about moving from the North Carolina Mountains to Upstate New York? Even if it is the house her mom grew up in, Prairie (10) hasn't found much she likes here. Granny - Prairie's best friend and homeschool teacher - is going home. The man at the Agriculture Store looks down on her interest in chicken farming. And worst of all, she has to go to school. A real school! Where everyone has friends and Prairie doesn't. School is living down to her expectations until she starts spending time with Ivy. Is life in New York looking up? This is a chapter book built around that transition in life from kid to teen.

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up

Interest Level: 9 and Up

Reading Level: 4.9

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: Refreshing! This was such a wonderful story. As our narrator, Prairie shows us the world - good, bad, and ugly - as a 10-year-old sees it. Whether it is the other citizens of Paltz, NY, or her classmates, you get an honest perspective. There is a nice blend of characters, who, as the story unfolds, may challenge your initial judgement of them. Through Prairie's eyes these people seem real. I, for one, wanted to walk right up to the rude woman in the diner!

Pros: Engaging characters and honest narrative combine in this beautiful, wholesome coming of age story.

Cons: None!

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a wonderful story that you're teen will come back to when they need a pick me up ... that is, if they get it back after sharing it with a friend.


Educational Themes: This would be a perfect selection for a teen book club, particularly a mother-daughter or father-daughter group.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, friendship, coming of age, grandparents, school, realistic fiction, middle grade

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2013

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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