cover image One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

Joanne Rocklin, Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8109-9719-6

Rocklin (For Your Eyes Only!) sets her realistic, evocative novel, which features a warm and believable community of adults and children, in a California neighborhood that was once home to an orange grove. One very old Valencia orange tree still sits on an empty lot on Orange Street, and it's the focal point and gathering spot for a band of neighborhood kids: Ali, whose toddler brother is not recovering from brain tumor surgery; Bunny, whose mother travels by plane too often for Bunny's comfort; Leandra, grumpy at the prospect of a new sibling; and Robert, trying to establish himself as a magician. The story, told from each character's point of view, takes place over the course of a day and a half, during which the younger residents—together with the elderly "Ms. Snoops," holder of the street's history—worry about the significance of an orange traffic cone that has appeared in front of the empty lot. Fears about the cone rise and recede as the characters struggle with their individual anxieties, culminating in a confrontation that resolves several mysteries and brings out the best in everyone. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)