Published by HarperCollins
Summary: When Reena and Luke’s parents decide to quit their jobs in the city and move to Maine, the kids aren’t sure what to expect. Reena’s hoping for blueberries, lobster, and the beach. But when her mom strikes up a conversation at the doctor’s with eccentric Mrs. Falala, the summer takes a turn for the worse. Reena and Luke get volunteered to help their elderly neighbor with her unusual collection of animals, most notably an ornery cow named Zora. As they attempt to get Zora ready to show at the fair, Reena learns some interesting secrets about Mrs. Falala’s past. A couple of the local kids are old hands at showing cows, and soon become friends and allies in the struggle to get Zora in the show ring. The day of the fair brings both joy and sadness, and a change that cements Reena’s family as a permanent part of their Maine community. 288 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: Sharon Creech has fun with words, creating all kinds of poems to tell the story, and playing with the fonts and words on the page to make them more expressive. Readers will take Reena, Luke, and eventually even Zora and Mrs. Falala to heart as the story unfolds.
Cons: I would have preferred an entire novel in verse, rather than interspersing prose chapters with the poetry ones.