Moonpenny Island

Tricia Springstubb

Book - 2015

On Moonpenny Island, eleven-year-old Flor O'Dell experiences a series of life changes after her best friend is sent away to a private school.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers [2015]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
292 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780062112934
0062112937
Main Author
Tricia Springstubb (-)
Other Authors
Gilbert Ford (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

How can such a tiny island like Moonpenny hold so many secrets? Eleven-year-old Flor, bereft when her best friend Sylvie leaves the island for a new school, never imagined how these secrets would impact her life. Her sister begins dating the island troublemaker; her mother flees the constant bickering with Flor's father; and then there is the arrival of Jasper, the daughter of a geologist visiting the island to unearth trilobites. Jasper is decidedly different from anyone Flor has ever met, and she opens Flor's eyes to even more secrets of Moonpenny Island. Springstubb, author of Mo Wren, Lost and Found (2011), has a feel for the drama and trauma that consume the lives of girls like Flor, who discover that life is rarely tidy and that stories are often left incomplete. That acceptance of change is key to Flor's development, and her actions should also offer hope to readers who will find in her a character who thinks and feels and acts very much as they do. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

"Some things in life change wham-bam, dramatic and sudden as a pin and a balloon. But usually, change is sneakier. More like that balloon leaking its air, deflating bit by bit." Springstubb (Mo Wren, Lost and Found) follows Flor O'Dell's search for sure footing as her safe, comfortable island life is rocked by change. Flor faces several potentially earth-shattering shifts in her family and friendships just as she's entering sixth grade, each knock like "an invisible fist on the end of a long arm," leaving her bruised and angry. Can friendship survive distance? Should she worry about her sister's strange behavior? Will her parents stop fighting? Will Mama return to her big Spanish-speaking family? And who is that strange girl watching Flor everywhere she goes? While exploring familiar themes of the unavoidable changes of adolescence, the novel weaves complex layers of fresh, relatable imagery and charming characterization across education levels, cultures, and generations, beautifully teaching that our shared humanity is one thing that doesn't change. Ages 8–12. Author's agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Flor and Sylvie are more than just best friends; "they are each other's perfect friend." But when Sylvie is suddenly sent away to live with relatives, Flor must fend for herself on isolated Moonpenny Island. Friends are hard to come by in such a tiny town, but Flor soon meets Jasper, the odd daughter of a geologist doing research on the island. Through the study of ancient fossils, Flor learns about the evolution of eyesight and applies her newfound knowledge to her own personal experience. She learns that, when dealing with people, eyesight can be clouded by preconceptions and judgment. Springstubb has written a heartwarming coming-of-age story, reminiscent of Kevin Henkes's Junonia (Greenwillow, 2011) and Jeanne Birdsall's "The Penderwicks" series (Yearling). The community of Moonpenny Island is both isolated and intimate; nature plays a major role. There is family strife in the story—alcoholism, physical fights, abandonment—but they are dealt with very gently. The language has a quaint, old-fashioned feel: young characters use phrases such as "despicable boy" and "birdbrained." The (over)use of exclamation points in the narration can be distracting, particularly at the story's denouement. However, sensitive readers will be able to relate to Flor's widening worldview when she perceptively remarks that "'no man is an island,' but apparently eleven-year-old girls can be."—Laura Lutz, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City [Page 107]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

On Moonpenny Island, eleven-year-old Flor O'Dell experiences a series of life changes after her best friend is sent away to a private school.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

One of two eleven-year-olds on Moonpenny Island during the off season, Flor struggles with feelings of abandonment before becoming involved in a geological excavation that helps her confront painful truths about her family and herself.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

One of two 11-year-olds on tiny Moonpenny Island during the off season, Flor struggles with feelings of abandonment before becoming involved in a geological excavation that helps her confront painful truths about her family—and herself. By the author of What Happened on Fox Street. Simultaneous eBook. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Readers of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage will love Moonpenny Island, a middle grade novel of friendship and secrets by the beloved and acclaimed Tricia Springstubb.Moonpenny is a tiny island in a great lake. When the summer people leave and the ferries stop running, just the tried-and-true islanders are left behind. Flor and her best, her perfect friend, Sylvie, are the only eleven-year-olds for miles and miles—and Flor couldn’t be happier. But come the end of summer, unthinkable things begin to happen. Sylvie is suddenly, mysteriously, whisked away to school on the mainland. Flor’s mother leaves to take care of Flor’s sick grandmother and doesn’t come back. Her big sister has a secret, and Flor fears it’s a dangerous one.Meanwhile, a geologist and his peculiar daughter arrive to excavate prehistoric trilobites, one of the first creatures to develop sight. Soon Flor is helping them. As her own ability to see her life on this little lump of limestone evolves, she faces truths about those she loves—and about herself—she never imagined.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Readers of Kate DiCamillo and Sheila Turnage will love Moonpenny Island, a middle grade novel of friendship and secrets by the beloved and acclaimed Tricia Springstubb.Moonpenny is a tiny island in a great lake. When the summer people leave and the ferries stop running, just the tried-and-true islanders are left behind. Flor and her best, her perfect friend, Sylvie, are the only eleven-year-olds for miles and miles'and Flor couldn't be happier. But come the end of summer, unthinkable things begin to happen. Sylvie is suddenly, mysteriously, whisked away to school on the mainland. Flor's mother leaves to take care of Flor's sick grandmother and doesn't come back. Her big sister has a secret, and Flor fears it's a dangerous one.Meanwhile, a geologist and his peculiar daughter arrive to excavate prehistoric trilobites, one of the first creatures to develop sight. Soon Flor is helping them. As her own ability to see her life on this little lump of limestone evolves, she faces truths about those she loves'and about herself'she never imagined.