cover image High on the Hog

High on the Hog

Kimberly Olson Fakih. Farrar Straus Giroux, $16 (165pp) ISBN 978-0-374-33209-9

Twelve-year-old Trapp dreads her family's upcoming move from a small town in Iowa to New York City. While her parents are house-hunting in Manhattan, Trapp spends the summer on her great-grandparents' farm. Trapp, however, must revise her uncomplicated understanding of her great-grandparents--and her fear of change--when she happens upon a family secret. The melodramatic quality of the secret is exacerbated by a contrived and somewhat obvious story line (involving the purchase of a roomy Park Avenue townhouse ``for a song''), and is further problematized by self-conscious, Fielding-esque chapter titles (``On bonding, or why corn-fed folk of the Midwest are so likely to get together,'' reads one). These devices are at odds with the fresh, realistic style of Fakih's ( Grandpa Putter and Granny Hoe ) prose, who fashions Trapp fluidly. Her heroine is fallible, likable and easily recognizable in her uneven approach toward maturity. Ages 10-12. (May)