When his boisterous cousin, Harriet, arrives for a year-long visit, nine-year-old Robert feels that she and her huge dog, Monster, are invading his space. Reprint. SLJ. AB.
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Bonnie Pryor thoroughly researched important periods of American history for each of her American Adventures. For Luke on the High Seas, she delved into seafaring in the nineteenth century so that the details of Luke Reed's journey would be accurate. She lives in Gambier, Ohio. In Her Own Words...
"I grew up in Spokane, Washington, the middle child in a family of three girls. Books were a part of my life from as far back as I can remember. I was often in trouble for reading at the wrong time. I would be caught reading under the dining room table when I was supposed to be dusting, or reading under the covers by flashlight late at night-even hiding a novel inside my textbooks at school.
"Not everyone thought I read too much. I remember a school librarian who saved all the new books for me to read first, and on several occasions she gave me presents of books. Perhaps she felt she should because I had read every single thing in her library!
"I was very shy, and, like Robert in The Plum Tree War, I spent a lot of my time hanging from my knees from a favorite plum tree, telling myself stories. Of course since I was raised in the West these stories were usually about wild horses and cowboys, and I was always the heroine who came to the rescue. The stories were long and involved, sometimes going on for days. I was always impatient to get to my tree each day so I could find out what was going to happen next, but I was too lazy to write the stories down.
"I think everyone expected me to become a writer, but it took me twenty years and a gentle nudge from my husband, Robert, to build up the courage to try. In the meantime I moved to Ohio, worked at a variety of jobs, and raised a family. I have four grown children, eight grandchildren, and two daughters still at home-Jenny and Chrissy. Many of my books are loosely based upon incidents in my children's lives, and they often appear as characters, in personality if not by name.
"My family recently moved to the country. When I'm not writing and visiting schools, we're busy building barns and fences and laying out flower beds. In addition, we all take part in caring for the four newcomers to our home: three horses and a bunny!"
Grade 3-6-- Robert's life is turned upside down when his cousin Harri moves in. She has a large friendly dog, Monster; is bossy; is in a higher reading group; and, most frustrating, can run faster than he. The final straw is when Monster ruins Robert's Halloween costume and Harri runs away. As in Rats, Spiders and Love (Morrow, 1986), Pryor uses a problem as the centerpiece of a funny look at growing up. The plum tree, Robert's favorite place, is the center of arguments between the two. Although amusing, the book is also a vehicle to show how trade books are better than basal readers, for Robert's reading improves when he begins reading the "Chronicles of Narnia." The ending is too pat as Robert and Harri decide to give up caring for a fawn they had rescued and decide to form a club to study wild animals. Robert declares he can be called "Robbie" and makes friends with the woman next door who has been lending him books, and Harri agrees to clean her room and be more polite to adults. Although this is a fun read, and one with which many children will identify, the perfect ending reduces its realism. --Margaret C. Howell, West Springfield Elementary School, Fairfax County, Va.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Yearling, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0440406196
Book Description Yearling, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 440406196