CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING TRIP
by Sara Pennypacker, pictures by Marla Frazee
Disney-Hyperion Books, 2013
Middle Grade Contemporary
Reviewed from purchased copy.
ABOUT THE BOOK
For Clementine, spring
is a really big deal. It's the time for seeing her apple tree start to
grow, for watching her friend Margaret go crazy with spring cleaning,
and for going on the school trip to Plimoth Plantation. Clementine is
ready for Ye Olden Times, but she isn't so sure about surviving lunch
there-the fourth graders have strict rules about no eating sounds. (What
is snicking, anyway? ) If that wasn't enough, Clementine also
faces the challenges of learning Olive-language and surviving The Cloud
on Bus 7.
Hearing the pilgrim lady talk about why she made the
long journey from England makes Clementine think about rules. Who makes
them, and what do they mean to the people who have to live with them?
Today Clementine has to decide which rules are made to be broken.
Clementine is one of my all time favorite characters. She's not afraid to be herself and yet she wants to follow the rules too. That becomes apparent in this book as she struggles to find things to eat that don't violate the fourth graders strict rules about eating sounds. The problem is that she likes foods that make noise. And then, things become crazier when she is assigned to partner with the new girl rather than Margaret for the field trip. And Clementine isn't completely comfortable with the new girl, who also happens to have a fruit name, and of whom, Clementine is a tiny, winny bit jealous. Not to mention the fact that her mother is pregnant and has a tendency to do what her father calls "going crunchy" or what the rest of the world would call moody. Life is hard when you are a third grader.
Clementine always makes me smile. These books are beautifully written and illustrated and perfect for middle grade readers who like humor with their contemporary stories. Highly recommended.