The Boy on Cinnamon Street

Phoebe Stone, Author
Phoebe Stone. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-545-21512-1
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-545-39316-4
Hardcover - 234 pages - 978-0-545-43368-6
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-545-21828-3
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There’s a dark mystery propelling this extremely well-done novel about Louise, a tiny seventh-grader nursing a deep wound. Something so terrible happened a year earlier that she has “blocked a whole week out of [her] conscious mind.” However, she’s still miserable, having moved from Cinnamon Street to a condo she shares with her (quirkily adorable) grandparents. Louise has changed schools, renamed herself (Thumbelina, to reflect her pint-size proportions), and given up gymnastics; her only friends are Reni and Reni’s brother, Henderson, a “volcano-loving, poetry-crazed flannel teddy bear in wire-rimmed glasses.” After Louise receives a note that reads “I am your biggest fan,” she and Reni decide it came from a hunky, high school–age, pizza delivery boy. Predictably disastrous actions ensue, but the resulting trauma is enough to shake Louise out of her torpor. Executed with wit and delicacy, Stone’s novel is made more poignant by her admission that she experienced a tragedy similar to Louise’s and reacted by blocking it out. “In fact,” she writes in her author’s note, “the healing process can only truly begin when we are willing to remember.” Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
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