I REALLY liked this story!
Ellie is trying to grow a champion super-sized pumpkin for the town fair, and so far it's been a very good year. but growing a champion is NOT easy stuff. Did you know you had to inject those babies with a super secret potion through a slit in the stem? Or did you know that sometimes at night you had to cover them with a heating pad? Or did you know that if the hail's a comin', you'd better get out there with 10 layers of blankets and maybe even a trap tent or a lean-to? Well as someone who had trouble growing even zucchini this summer (must amend soil!), I was pretty fascinated by all the effort it takes to grow a pumpkin!
And then there are all the other issues:
* the problem of pumpkin stealers!
* the problems of the parents (or of only having one parent in this case, and not a
farmer one at that)
* the problem of the cute boy
* the problem of the extra 20 pounds and the pants that are seriously going to burst
at the seams...ever worn a pair like that?
I thought this story was a lot of fun. Joan Bauer tends to be a funny author, and this story, like many of her others had quite a lot of humor in it. I also cried in some parts when Ellie's desperately missing her mother. It had great suspense, and readers will find themselves cheering Ellie on right up until the end. A lovely fall read! Highly recommended for all levels of middle school.