THE BATTLE OF JUNK MOUNTAIN
By: Lauren Abbey Greenberg
Published: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Shayne has loved spending her summers on the coast of Maine with her grandmother. It’s the only time of year she can see her summer best friend, Poppy. But this summer something has changed. Poppy only wants to talk about boys and Grandma has so many piles of junk in her house that there is barely room for Shayne. Her mom has sent her to her grandma’s with the hope that Shayne will be able to help her get rid of a lot of the stuff. Shayne loves organizing and thinks it will a cinch to sort and throw away all the stuff at Grandma Bea’s.
Next door to Grandma’s lives an old man who Shayne and Poppy call Cranky. His grandson, Linc, is also staying for the summer. But, Shayne isn’t sure what to think of him because all he wears is Civil War reenactment clothing. This summer is not at all what Shayne had expected and everything has changed. It may just be her worst summer on the Maine coast.
A lot of kids will be able to identify with Shayne. She is spunky yet loyal. She doesn’t like change and wants to relive her favorite summer memories as she has every summer before. But, life gets in the way and as people grow, they change including Poppy and her Grandma. Her Grandma has always liked her “collections”, but now it has gone too far and she has turned into a hoarder due to the emotional response to her husband’s death. Shayne doesn’t understand why her grandma can’t part with a stack of magazines or a set of candlesticks and yet keeps buying more stuff at other yard sales.
When a crisis happens and Shayne has to step up and be brave, everyone grows up and sees each other with a new perspective. Readers will appreciate the frustrations Shayne has with her grandma, with her friend, Poppy, and with Linc. Kids will identify with Shayne’s resistance to change. Watching Shayne grow up over the summer, learning new skills like catching lobsters, steering a boat, as well as emotional skills of honesty, trust, and respect will be an inspiration to kids.
This story has drama, witty characters, silly moments, and love of friends and family. There are several plot twists to keep the readers turning the pages. The chapters are short and encourage the reader to read just one more chapter. Shayne is 12 in the book, but readers in the 8-12 range will enjoy this story.
Lauren Abbey Greenberg is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature and has been published in Highlights for Children, and Knowonder! magazine. She has also written and produced TV spots for Discovery Kids, a film for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and educational videos for National Geographic. She lives in Maryland with her family and has spent summers in Maine for the past twenty years. This is her very first novel. For more information, check out her website, HERE.
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I LOVED all these middle-grade books!