Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Moon over High Street by Natalie Babbitt

moonIt was a long, boring bus ride. Looking out the window, there was nothing to see but farm fields stretching forever to an endless horizon. Very few farmhouses were visible. The landscape looked monotonous as it flew by. Joe Casimir was on his way to Midville to stay with his Aunt Myra while his Gran, who was also his legal guardian, was recuperating from a broken hip. Joe had lost both parents as a baby and had always lived with his Gran. He certainly did not want to leave her now at the beginning of his summer vacation. Why did Gran send him away? As Joe was missing his old friends and classmates already, he did not look forward to getting off the bus at Midville. But then, destiny was waiting for him at the new town. One of the first people Joe meets at Midville is beautiful Beatrice, a neighbor, who shows him the town. Then Rover, Beatrice’s big dog, escapes into Mr. Boulderwall’s yard. While trying to get their dog back, Joe and Beatrice meet the local millionaire, Anson Boulderwall, and apologize profusely for the mischievous dog. Many years before, Mr. Boulderwall had emigrated from Poland. When he meets Joe, he thinks that Joe Casimir might be descended from three Polish kings named Casimir. Mr. Boulderwall makes up his mind that Joe should become his adopted son, be trained in business and eventually take over his factory, and also become a millionaire. Soon, Mr. Boulderwall instructs his lawyers to present Gran with the adoption papers for Joe. Gran is shocked. Aunt Myra and Joe are shocked when they hear about the adoption plans. Now everyone in their family and circle of friends advise Joe on what to do. Most of them love the opportunity for Joe to become rich. In the end it is Beatrice who helps Joe make the perfect decision. Review by Trudy Walsh

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