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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*How It Happened in Peach Hill* by Marthe Jocelyn- young readers book review
How It Happened in Peach Hill
by Marthe Jocelyn
Ages 10-14 232 pages Laurel Leaf June 2009 Paperback    

After living in several other towns, Annie and her mother have arrived in Peach Hill. Annie’s relationship with her mother is becoming more and more strained; Annie just wishes to settle down somewhere, maybe Peach Hill, and live like a normal kid.

Annie’s mom is the all-knowing Madame Caterina, who can read your palm or the tea leaves, and can talk to your dead uncle - all for a fee. Annie’s part in this lifestyle is to be the detective who listens to town gossips and hides around the corner from conversations to bring her mother the information she needs to make her “readings” seem real. Annie is able to go about unnoticed because is a child and because she does not seem to be a threat.

When Annie discovers new friends, a new school, and a truant officer who will not let her skip school, she begins to long for a life that is based on truth. She wants her new friends - especially Sammy - to like her for who she really is, not who she pretends to be. But departing from her “pretend” life will harm her mother’s reputation, so Annie continues to allow her mother’s manipulation.

Helen is the daughter of a preacher who makes his own “holy water” in the still out back and sells it to his church members. Helen’s mother spends most of her days in bed; she has made friends with the tonic that her husband sells and is unaware of his bad behaviors. Helen is therefore often the recipient of his anger and frustration. When Helen and Annie are thrown together for truancy, a friendship develops that will help both girls to take a look at their real future.

This award-winning author gives adolescent readers a delightful story of two girls and a friendship that defies the odds.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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