Here’s the blurb: Rosie and her family’s financial problems find them living in the most unexpected of places a treehouse, on the estate of Great-Great-Aunt Lydia. Not that Rosie minds, at first. The treehouse is awesome – bigger than some apartments, with a great view, and full of fresh air. Plus it’s located in a fancy neighborhood. But after a summer of fun on the treehouse grounds, things get complicated. Rosie’s new school friends all live in mansions; suddenly the treehouse looks pretty pathetic. How can she seriously expect to fit in when her “house” doesn’t even have running water? One little lie seems to help, at first, but pretty soon Rosie is keeping secrets from her family, bribing her little sister, and lying to her new best friend. As the school year drags on, every day presents a new challenge. When things finally reach the boiling point thanks to the famous spring rummage sale” fundraiser Rosie learns that lying is not the answer, and that sometimes help comes from the least likely places.
So, the above blurb leaves out what I think it the best part of this book – the mystery surrounding Great Aunt Lydia and the family feud that led Rosie’s family to end up in the treehouse and not the mansion. The way that Rosie follows the clues she finds about the Aunt who seems not to want to know her, are the most appealing part of her character and I loved how this is something Rosie and her new friend bond over.
I also loved the treehouse. I’m a big fan of “survival” stories, as I’ve mentioned before, and though this is not strictly speaking a survival story, I loved all the details on how they made living in the treehouse work. However, it seemed a little extreme, and I found myself questioning the plausibility of two reasonably sensible parents (they are both PhD students) making their young daughters live through the winter in Vancouver in an unheated, un- insulated home. This made me lose sympathy for them. I think maybe a bit more background about the parents might have made this seem more acceptable.
For what it is, this is a pretty long book, just over 60,000 words with a reading level of 4.6. The way the story was told felt like lower middle grade, so the reading level is fine, for age typical readers, but perhaps a bit long.
For this week I can’t wait to read THE OBSIDIAN BLADE by Pete Hautman. I really enjoyed his book GODLESS and this one sounds, frankly, amazing: Kicking off a riveting sci-fi trilogy, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman plunges us into a world where time is a tool – and the question is, who will control it? I’m pushing this one up to the top of my list!
For more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday fun check these blogs:
- Joanne Fritz @ My Brain on Books
- Sherrie Petersen @ Write About Now
- Brooke Favero @ Somewhere in the Middle
- Myrna Foster @ Night Writer
- Ally Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy
- Barbara Watson @ Novel and Nouveau
- Deb Marshall @ Just Deb!
- Anita Laydon Miller’s Middle Grade Blog
- Michael G-G @ Middle Grade Mafioso
- Natalie Aguirre @ Literary Rambles
- Ms. Yingling @ Ms. Yingling Reads
- Jennifer Rumberger
- Pam Torres @ So I’m Fifty
- Mary @ Writer’s Butt Does Not Apply to Me
- The Accidental Novelist
- Gina Carey
- Nye Louwen – My Spirit
- Laurisa White Reyes @ Apocalypsies