cover image The Becket List (A Blackberry Farm Story #1)

The Becket List (A Blackberry Farm Story #1)

Adele Griffin, illus. by LeUyen Pham. Algonquin, $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-61620-790-8

After her veterinarian parents decide to move from the city to live on Gran’s Blackberry Farm, Becket Branch, 9, doesn’t think she’ll miss much—except, maybe, her best friend Caleb, the apartment she’s grown up in, and the egg and cheese on a roll from Sugarman’s Deli. Still, she is determined to put on a brave, happy face so that her twin brother, Nicholas, won’t be even more upset about the move then he already is. Armed with her growing list, “How to Be a Country Kid,” Becket is ready to have new adventures (standing up to a mean chicken, attending Young Explorers Camp), make new friends, and (she hopes) get a dog. Things don’t end up going the way she plans, though, and she soon discovers that country living isn’t as easy as she’d thought. Heartwarming prose by Griffin (the Oodlethunks series) is as energetic as Becket herself, while expressive spot art by Pham (Stop That Yawn!) reinforces the story’s action and breaks up the text for younger readers. In the end, Becket learns to take Gran’s message to heart: “That’s life.... Most reliable thing about it are the twists and turns.” Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–11. [em](Apr.) [/em]