Another kid’s graphic novel I picked up off my daughter’s library pile. (I’m actually reading a nonfiction book right now, Pet Nation– but keep putting it aside for something else in between chapters!) This one is about Jen, whose parents have recently divorced. She and her mom move to the country, where she has to tolerate her mom’s new boyfriend, and share her room with his two daughters when they visit on weekends. The oldest Andrea (Andy) is her age, the other girl is younger. They have trouble getting along at first. Andy is smart, brags about her good grades, and is kinda bossy. Jen likes drawing pictures and struggles with math. But she knows a lot about animals, and it’s annoying (to me the reader as well!) when Andy insists she’s right about animal facts (chickens, frogs, snakes) when she’s obviously not. I liked all the details about life on their farm- Jen has to do chores taking care of the chickens, loves hanging out with the barn kittens in the empty hayloft (her secret space) and trying to catch frogs in the pond (though this incident turns into a fight with Andy). Her mom struggles to keep a garden going while the pesky deer keep eating parts of it. A big part of the story is their farm stand at the local market, though. Jen has trouble making change for customers when her mom steps away. Her frustration and shame are very palpable- and heightened when Andy flippantly takes over the task and the adults point out she needs to practice her math skills more. I was really gritting my teeth at the attitude of Andy’s dad! Didn’t like him at all. However by the end, Andy and Jen have found some common ground and companionship, and Jen’s proved herself to have another skill set useful at the farm stand as well. Apparently this book is part of a series about the Peapod Farm. I look forward reading the next one!
Borrowed from the public library.