Monday, August 06, 2012
Summer of the Gypsy Moths Book Review by ChristineMM
Title: Summer of the Gypsy Moths
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Genre: Juvenile Literautre ages 8-12
My Star Rating: 1 Star out of 5 = I Hate It
My Summary Statement: Main Point Could Have Been Executed Without Sicko and Amoral Action
**for spoiler scroll to the bottom**
I read lots of juvenile literature as I homeschool my kids and like to discuss books with my kids. This book was of special interest to me since it is set on Cape Cod, a place I have visited at least twice a year for the last 20 years.
Based on the marketing materials and the book jacket I thought the book sounded good but I was more than disturbed to find out what the 11 year of main character and the foster sister did to the elderly woman just to swindle $20 a week in tips for themselves. I know both girls are troubled and both are in the foster system, and the author says they do not practice religion but I refuse to believe that these two girls have no morals and risked that illegal action. It made the story unbelievable and I wound up loathing the girls rather than liking them.
Honestly I cannot believe a major publisher actually published this book. What the girls did is horrifying and the publisher is marketing this to 8 year olds? Seriously? Instead of what the girls did the author could have had the elderly lady get ill and put the girls in a position of having to help out and keep the tips, or risk being removed from her care. They could have been mentored directly yet still have taken on serious responsibility and learned the same lessons about hard work minus the illegal and immoral action and without the grossness (bug munching sounds and Febreze to hide the stink).
The fact that the main character shows more love to the blueberry bushes than the way she handled the death of her great aunt seemed just wrong to me.
SPOILER: If what happened has piqued your curiosity, it is revealed on page one that the great aunt the girls are living with dies. The girls do not report her death and she begins to rot and stink. They decide to roll her up in the area rug and bury her in the vegetable garden so they can tend to the rental cabins and keep the tips for themselves (instead of the tips going to the great aunt). They lie and deceive many people about the whereabouts of the missing great aunt for $15-20 a week in tips.
Disclosure: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from Amazon.com's Vine program for the purpose of reviewing it on Amazon.com. I was not paid to write this review nor was I under obligation to blog it or to review it favorably.