Absolutely Truly

by Heather Vogel Frederick

Truly Lovejoy is “smack dab in the middle” of her family of five kids.... read more

Truly Lovejoy is “smack dab in the middle” of her family of five kids. At 5’11”, however, she towers over just about everyone both at home and in the seventh grade at her new school in her dad’s hometown of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire. The town is as quaint as its name — there’s even a winter cotillion for all seventh graders. They’ve moved because her dad, a military veteran, lost a hand in Afghanistan. While his physical recovery has been progressing, he’s having a harder time emotionally. With Truly’s Aunt True, he’s taking over his parents’ bookstore while Truly’s grandparents head off to the Peace Corps and her mom goes back to school. When Truly finds a twenty-year-old letter hinting at unresolved romance inside a signed first edition of Charlotte’s Web in the bookstore, she’s soon collaborating with the new friends she’s making in the hopes of figuring out who the recipient and sender are and tracking them down. Then the copy of Charlotte’s Web — valuable enough to get the bookstore out of debt — disappears, too. A true “cozy” for kids, this mystery has a few edges, but just the right amount of weight and authenticity to the family story and interactions to add emotional depth. Pumpkin Falls is refreshing and believably diverse, with its share of quirky yet credible small-town characters. (Ages 9–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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