Deliciously wonderful! I don't know what made me remember the book Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy, but something told me... "Yes! Pick it up!" So I did, and my mind was right, it was a great idea.) Who am I kidding, it wasn't my idea, I got the idea from Franki at A Year of Reading, and I knew that all along.)
One of the main reasons I liked this book is because it is about something that I have heard of before, but never attended. Now I feel like I have actually been to the Circleville, OH Pumpkin Festival. (Really, check out the website, amazing!) The Pumpkin Festival in Pickaway County is not that far from where I live and I have heard so much about it. This book is set in that county and has to do with the festival. How exciting is that? (I even know someone who's mother was a Pumpkin Queen long, long ago)
This book is perfect for my students. It is fast paced, and innocent just like I think of my students. The main character is in the fifth grade and acts just like a typical fifth grade girl, except for the fact that she is obsessed with growing the perfect giant pumpkin. She is unlike some fifth grade girls because she is not obsessed with clothes or boys, which I personally feel is a great thing, but her Aunt does not.
Ever since Mildred, the main character's, mother passed away when she was 6, all Mildred could remember was how her mother loved the giant pumpkins at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. As a tribute to her mother Mildred would love nothing less than growing a giant pumpkin. It is hard work but Mildred is dedicated to the cause.
I thought it was awesome that this book was quite scientific. There are very specific directions for growing giant pumpkins intertwined through the book. I would love to recommend it to my students. Especially because their science teacher gave them pumpkin seeds at the end of last year to grow and journal about over the summer. This will be a perfect ending to that project. The ending of the book brought a little tear to my eye. I wasn't bawling or anything, and that is exactly how I like an ending. This book comes as perfect timing as well because the Pumpkin Festival is next weekend!