Drizzle AUTHOR Kathleen Van Cleve (NEW)

Conversation Freddy denies he has a fever and pulls his shirt away from his hot skinchokengtitiktitikchokeng71 For once I didn t run to Freddy s room last night though Does it really make sense to have for once and last night in the same sentence p91 This morning when I come down for breakfast Beatrice showed me the front page of the local newspaper Okay So usually this is the part of the review where I tell you what the book is about except I m not sure how to succinctly summarize Drizzle It is and I mean this in the best possible way unlike any other book I ve ever read That was what attracted me to it The truth is I can t even really tell you that much about it without spoiling the whole thing and I don t want to do that Mrs Van Cleve has crafted a work of stunning originality and you owe it to yourself to put Drizzle on your reading listWelcome to Rupert s world famous rhubarb farm It is a place different from any you ve ever encountered Mrs Van Cleve never specifies that Oompa Loompas don t work there and I prefer to imagine they do The rhubarb grown at Rupert s farm tastes like chocolate but it s still a vegetable so your parents can t get mad Some of the rhubarb is grown for medicinal purposes and shows tremendous promise as a cure for cancer among other ailments And there s giant rhubarb that s really helping out with the hole in the ozone layerBut I haven t even told you the most interesting parts If Hogwarts were a farm it would be Rupert s Rhubarb Farm It s a popular tourist destination and it isn t hard to see why There s a full scale version of the White House on the premises and if that doesn t do it for you check out their castle There s also a certain Dark House that may or may not be haunted And there s a giant peace maze to wonder through and an umbrella ride It rains every Monday at 100pm except the one Monday it doesn t Oh and get this there s a lake in which no one can drown One boy managed to stay underwater an entire hour and was ust fineAll of these fantastic revelations about the farm take some telling and it is worth noting that the main conflict of the novel isn t really introduced until page 75 which is practically waiting until the seuel as far as the pacing in middle grade novels goes And that s the thing that really got me azzed about Drizzle Kathleen Van Cleve brazenly breaks all the rules and displays uncommon courage for a middle grade writer and she pulls off everything Her book were it in the hands of a lesser writer often flirts with disaster but Van Cleve s got the chops to make it rain as it wereFor starters Drizzle is 358 pages which puts it in YA range according to many standards but the main character is eleven and the book is recommended for grades 4 6 clearly upper middle grade or tween range I won t pretend to understand how Van Cleve pulled off all of her tricks but as for how she got away with delaying until page 75 to introduce the main plot when so many of us labor to work it in by page 5 that I get Now to be fair she does foreshadow the main plot and she opens the novel with this sceneBut then on one rainy Monday afternoon the twentieth of September I found her lying faceup in between the P and E of the PEACE maze The toes of her silly slippers pointed up to the gray sky as rain washed over her cheeks I turned to see that all around us the rhubarb plants swished their wide green leaves over their heads pointing to her body The lake began to roar as if there were a windstorm even though there wasn t I turned back to Grandmom and beggedPlease wake up please wake upSee what I mean Fearless And the first line of the novel is The mist is back So there is a hook and the reader is carefully drawn into world of the story But otherwise Van Cleve #spends 75 pages introducing us to Rupert s Rhubarb farm and the mysterious #75 pages introducing us to Rupert s Rhubarb farm and the mysterious of the place is so compelling you won t even notice the main plot though hinted at hasn t started She uses the time to introduce characters all of them memorable and themes she ll spend the novel discussing one of the central ones being science versus mysticism fascinating stuff for a middle grade novel or any novel Our heroine is plucky contrarian Polly Peabody an eleven year old after my own heart after everyone s heart You re going to love her She s shy sometimes arrogant at others a genuine hero and readers will definitely identify with her I want to talk about her most controversial action in a moment but that means I m going to enter spoiler territory so I ll go ahead and finish the review first Drizzle is a great book and you don t want to miss it It s funny and an all around good time but there s plenty of substance as well Go order your copy read it and then come back for the rest

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this blog in which I spoil something major and discuss Van Cleve s prose style Those of you still reading I warned you There is an element in Drizzle a little like a standard Disney cartoon There are dragonflies and rhubarb plants that communicate with Polly through body language and they are her friends the way Ariel has that singing crab or Belle has that talking candlestick One rhubarb plant in particular Harry is Po DNFed at 50 pagesI ust don t think it s going to be too spectacular I like sweet and whimsical but this is a little too much It s also not particularly written and I think it ll have some good themes later but I don t know if I trust this to do them well Finally a heroine I can identify with She s afraid of bugs and afraid of the dark And she believes in magic Real magic not the kind where you take a uarter from behind someone s ear She talks to plants and they talk back She lives on a rhubarb farm but not ust any ordinary rhubarb farm They grow chocolate rhubarb a vegetable that tastes better than a Snickers bar But the farm is in trouble You see every Monday except one for 86 years it has rained at 1 pm on Monday The one Monday it didn t rain was when Polly s older brother Freddy was born And now the rain has stopped The plants are dying and Freddy is really sick It is up to Polly to figure out how to save her family s farm and her brother s life. Polly has to make it start raining again before it's too late Her brother's life the plants' survival and her family's future all depend on it Kathleen Van Cleve has woven an unforgettable coming of age tale with all the heart and wonder of a Roald Dahl nove.

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Drizzle AUTHOR Kathleen Van CleveImagine having a farm that grew plants that taste like chocolate and u are still eating healthy Everyday is a adventure for Polly Peabody on Rupert s World Famous Rhubarb Farm Polly knows that their farm is rather unusual after her Grandmother died and all around her diamonds sprout from the ground and on every Monday it rains at 100 When it rains the hole farm is swarmed with tourist that want the ride the giant red umbrella But then one day the rain stopped Polly s hole world falls apart Her older brother Freddy comes down with a severe illness and her family could lose the farm Polly must uncover many secrets to help her brother survive She must be uick on her feet to uncover the secrets in time Polly Peabody s family lives on what can only be called a magical farm Their house is a castle Nobody can drown in their lake The insects are surprisingly intelligent And it rains every Monday at 100 pm without fail Which does wonders for their rhubarb crops But events conspire and it looks as if they might lose the farm Rhubarb and emerald rings School bullies and best friends Dragon flies and dark towers Sabotage and saving the farm Absolutely fun uplifting without being overly sweet Deals practically with so many monumental things mean girls phobias grief regrets resilience future plans and pulling together as a family in the face of losing what s most precious In Drizzle narrator Polly Peabody lives on a magical rhubarb farm where it rains every Monday at 1 PM exactly The rest of the area is in the dry Midwest but the Peabodys always have rain Until one day they don tAnd that s ust the beginning of their problemsWithout the rain the rhubarb begins to die Polly s brother Freddy gets ill And now Aunt Edith wants to sell the farm If the rain does not return then the Peabodys might not have a choicePolly is determined to save the farm but is there anything an 11 year old girl can doThis book is perfect for the people who loved Savvy and have been looking for something similar It has the same kind of feel to the book and style of writing Both books have a magical component to them although the magic is not as prominent in this book as it is in Savvy Also in both books the main character really has to discover who she truly is and not rely on her preconceived notions of herselfHowever Drizzle is certainly it s own novel The magic and plot and setting of the novel are distinctive and creative I like the world that Van Cleve creates for Polly to live in And despite Polly s constant tears and assertions that she s a coward she actually is a strong female character that I think girls can identify withA good individual read for ages 8 up We here at BookPeople would recommend this as a good bedtime book for parents to read a loud to their kids aged 7 12 The book is broken up into many small sections that are the perfect size for before bed reading My seven year old recommended this book to me and as a testament to her maturing taste in literature as well as her knowledge of her mother I LOVED it In the genre of magical realism which is a great genre for children s literature especially because it helps us remember how much of the world still #IS MAGICAL "FOR THEM EVEN THE SCIENTIFIC "THEM EVEN THE SCIENTIFIC POLLY #magical for them even the scientific stuff Polly lives on a magical farm the best place in the world exactly the place that you d want to live if you were a kid the most perfect fantastic home you could ever imagineUntil it isn t Sure a few years back Polly s doting grandmother died and that was a terrible loss but then her aunt moved back home giving up her high powered career path and if anything she dotes on Polly even than her grandmother did Polly still mourns her grandmother of course but she models a healthy grief What s happening now is scarier in that it s affecting the MAGICAL PLACE THAT POLLY CALLS HOME place that Polly calls home magical regular rain that keeps the magical plants healthy and thriving Leggiamo l'ora. Gioco e imparo. Ediz. a colori just ceases subjecting the Peabody farm to the same drought conditions that plague the rest of the midwest The magical plants seem to be revolting and Polly who can somewhat speak to them doesn t understand what they re trying to tell her Polly s 17 year old brother is growing ill And scariest of all Polly s doting aunt suddenly announces that she wants to sell this beloved farm so that she can get rich go back to her great career and force Polly to get out into the wider worldWhat follows is Polly sourney to solve the mystery of the rain to solve the mystery of her brother s illness to solve the mystery of her aunt s changed affections and her cruel intentions and to solve the mundane but no less important mysteries of how to get along with her schoolmates and deal with a bully She struggles so hard with no adults to help her and when she finally prevails you can t help but be so proud of herAs well as an homage to the beauty of rural life Drizzle is at heart a morality tale for the modern feminist Polly s grandmother was the matriarch of the farm a decided housewife in a rural landscape who we learn attempted in vain to make Polly s aunt be the same type of woman and refused to accept her differences Polly s aunt had to work extremely hard in the world to become the leader that she is removing herself from her disapproving family struggling alone over all the usual obstacles and is so clearly happy and finally content in her success that she is also attempting in vain to make Polly be the same type of woman Her efforts are manipulative and underhanded endanger lives and show that she doesn t understand this child that she claims to love any better than her own mother apparently understood her Polly however is the culmination of feminism in that she understands both sides She s been raised you see by both her housewife grandmother and her career minded aunt and she s empowered enough to clearly see that her choices are absolutely her own She refuses to acknowledge the compartments that make women feel compartmentalized if they choose home or career or make them feel torn if they choose both Polly simply chooses what she wants to do and is empowered to work to achieve whatever that desire is Yes her. Eleven year old Polly Peabody knows her family's world famous rhubarb farm is magical The plants taste like chocolate ewels appear in the soil bugs talk to her and her best friend is a rhubarb plant named Harry But the most magical thing is that every single. Choice is life on her magical farm for now but for Polly it remains a conscious choice not a definitionMy one disappointment with this otherwise wonderful book is its secondary emphasis on secrecy The legacy that allows Polly to eventually save her farm is a deep family secret known only to one woman in a generation This means that when her aunt the secret holder begins to work purposefully AGAINST the farm no one knows what is going on or why or how to fix it Polly must first struggle to learn that there is a secret then must struggle to learn all the various components of the secret then must struggle to learn the powers that she holds as the chosen one of her generation Surprisingly in a child who has so far been notable in NOT accepting the given knowledge of her family she simply accepts at the end of the book that she too must keep everything that she has learned a secret preserving the mystery keeping her entire family in the dark about the true workings of the farm and continuing to do her own important work completely alone This is a terrible blow at the end of the book because this DOES compartmentalize Polly onto a very narrow path If she can t share the secret she can t share the labor and the labor MUST be done to ensure the health of the farm Polly can t go to college at this rate Heck she can t even go on vacation or it won t rain Not only is this development troubling in that in my personal opinion it is unethical to present a conclusion in which a child chooses to keep a major secret from a loving family but it also serves to eliminate the powerful feminist choices that Polly could have made People should cooperate with each other help each other If Polly s aunt hadn t had to keep the secret she could have taught Polly her powers long ago she could have gone back to work If Polly and her aunt weren t now estranged the aunt could help Polly in the future Polly could go to college If Polly could share her secret with her very loving family they could help her with much of the infrastructure surrounding her duties she s a child after all and has to do schoolwork It was a deep disappointment after reading this wonderful book and getting to discuss the power of Polly s choices and her work with my daughter to also have to discuss with her the importance of not keeping secrets from her family Together my daughter and I spun an epilogue in which Polly realizes this crucial fact shares with her family gives her aunt the opportunity to reconcile with her and then proceeds to live the powerful life that she is capable of without any silly authoritative boundaries I loved this bookThe magicThe farmThe insects and talking plantsAll of these combined created such a fantastic world This is the kind of book I wish I d discovered as a child I would have read it over and over again The story is told from the point of view of eleven year old Polly and it worked well The story felt like it was narrated by an eleven year old and so even the grammar mistakes in the storytelling didn t feel out of place I m unsure if it was written that way or if that is how it ust happened but it works for the story I also liked the characters Aunt Edith was intriguing because you could understand her but also saw how she was wrong and ultimately she was doing to Polly what her mother did to her She did what she did because she #Loved Polly But Thought She Knew Best What Polly #Polly but she thought she knew best what Polly and she t giving her a choice in her life All in all it was a good middle grade read and I recommend it It made me tear up a little too Polly Peabody knows that her family s rhubarb farm is something special even something magical They grow Giant Rhubarb that is helping close the hole in the ozone and chocolate rhubarb that tastes like a sweet but is a vegetable They have a lake that you can t drown in no matter how long you hold your breath a castle to live in and gems sprout from the ground And every Monday at 100 pm exactly it rains But then one Monday it doesn t And other things start to go wrong on the farm The rhubarb begins to wilt even though it is being watered by hand The umbrella ride fails when people are riding it A strange fog is starting to cover some of the farm It is up to Polly to find out what is causing the damage and save their farm To do that she will have to face her fears uncover family secrets and trust in the magic of the farmThis enticing tale is a pleasure to read Van Cleve has created the farm of childhood dreams filled with dessert that is healthful carnival rides friendly bugs animated plants and much She writes with a light friendly tone that never gets bogged down in elaborate descriptions or overwriting which is a fear with books of this sort Instead she allows the magic to shine and the imagination to soarPolly is a great protagonist who is painfully shy bullied at school and yet one of the most fascinating people you could meet As she learns that she is much braver and skilled than she ever dreamed Polly begins to let others into her world and make friends Yet it is not that simple and her struggles with self reliance family secrets and friendships make for great coming of age story materialA large part of the book s appeal is the tension between the magical and the mundane Polly has to face school and all of its pitfalls as well as the desperate situation of her home and family farm While magic is involved it actually makes Polly s personal life outside of the farm difficult The tension of classmates news reporters and magic make this book very specialHighly recommended this book is perfection for fans of Savvy by Ingrid Law It would make a wonderful classroom read and will be happily devoured by children who enjoy a lot of chocolate with their rhubarb Appropriate for ages 9 12 Clever premise for a book but I did not finish this I am so bothered by continuity errors poor grammar and poor editing that I have lost faith in the storyteller p15 I shove my hands in my pockets and push my hair back off my facechokengtitiktitikchokeng54 55 Freddy removes his sweaty shirt and tosses it to Basford to wash On the next page same. Monday at exactly 100 it rains Until the Monday when the rain Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part just stops Now it's up to Polly to figure out why and whether her brother's mysterious illness and her glamorous aunt Edith's sudden desire to sell the farm have anything to do with it Most of all.