Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Canning Season by Polly Horvath

Horvath, Polly. 2005. The Canning Season. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

A National Book Award winner for 2003 The Canning Season by Polly Horvath, is a novel about a thirteen-year-old girl, Ratchet, who is unceremoniously dumped by her mother into the care of two old, distant, twin great aunts, Tilly and Penpen, that live in Maine in a very large remote house surrounded by blueberry bogs and bears. Supposedly Ratchet is going to stay just for the summer while her mother attends to more important things, like gaining entry to the country club and her new boyfriend, but Ratchet ends up looking after and caring very much for Tilly and Penpen. When an unwanted teenage girl, Harper, shows up on the front porch, the household dynamics change somewhat, but Ratchet and Harper become friends in caring for the older women, learning the ways of rural Maine, and dealing with a shared sense of abandonment.

This book was so-so for me...I object to the use of the "F" word in the seemed that she was going for shock value instead of just telling the story, I feel that she could have used some other expletive and still gotten the point across. It's a book that I would recommend for older teens because the themes are a bit obscure I think for younger students.

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