Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 128
Themes: Art, organic farming, humor
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Sep/2011
Lexile Level: HL570L
Fry Reading Level: 4.0
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Maddie has big-city dreams, and this summer she's found her chance to visit New York. An art magazine is holding a portrait painting contest, and the first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Big Apple. Maddie plans to win, but her mother has different plans for her: a mother-daughter adventure in organic farming. Maddie is furious. How will she find an inspiring subject for her portrait amid the goat poop and chickens? And worse, her new-age mother's attempts at pig reiki are an embarrassment. But Maddie befriends the farmer's daughter, Anna, and between dodging her mother and doing her chores, she finds the perfect subject for the portrait contest.

"Goerzen writes well from a teen perspective, capturing Maddie's smart-alecky but self-conscious attitude, especially toward her oblivious mother."
CM Magazine
"Maddie is an energetic protagonist young readers will readily identify with and want to follow through her ordeal. They will understand Maddie's anger at being pulled from her own life into her mother's chaotic world...The details of a first-time-farm experience seen through Maddie's eyes are diverse and completely genuine, and Goerzen succeeds in adding depth to an otherwise predictable mother-daughter breakaway story with a subplot that takes Maddie into a world that is more complex than what she imagined New York city would be and one which ultimately lifts her out of herself. Recommended."
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"Readers will identify with the disagreements and the embarassmet Maddie's mother causes for her at times. They will also identify with the need to find their own way in the world and the power a friend can provide on that journey."


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