Synopsis from Workman Publishing:
Adventure and discover with the bold and intrepid Becket Branch when her family’s move from city to a country farm means big changes!
Everything is changing for Becket Branch. From subways to sidewalks to safety rules, Becket is a city kid born and raised. Now the Branch family is trading urban bustle for big green fields and moving to Gran’s farm, where Becket has to make sense of new routines from feeding animals to baling hay. And as much as Becket loves to yell “Beautiful Alert!” there’s a lot about the countryside that is just plain odd.
But Becket is ready to put her own spin on country life. Whether selling her mouth-puckering lemonade, feeding hostile hens, or trying to make a best friend of her new neighbor Frieda Franca, Becket is determined to use her city smarts to get a grip on farm living. Laugh and learn with Becket as she mucks through the messy, exuberant human experience of change she didn’t ask for, in a story that sparkles with quirky characters and lasting connections.
About: The Becket List: A Blackberry Farm Story is a middle grade fiction written by Adele Griffin and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. It will be published on 4/2/2019 by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Workman Publishing, paperback, 208 pages. The genres are fiction, middle grade, and multigenerational. This book is intended for readers ages 7 to 11, grades 2 to 6. According to the publisher’s website, ” Algonquin Young Readers publishes books for readers from ages seven to seventeen, from short illustrated novels for the youngest independent readers to timely and topical crossover young adult fiction. What ties the books in this imprint together? Unforgettable characters, absorbing stories, and superior writing.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Becket List: A Blackberry Farm Story on 1/7/2019 and finished it on 1/14/2019. This book is an excellent read! I like Rebecca also known as Becket. She’s an easy going person who has a positive attitude to everything. She embraces her family’s decision to say goodbye to city life and move to the country. She doesn’t laugh at her twin brother for being afraid of dead bugs but instead helps to make him feel more comfortable in his new surroundings. Even when life in the country puts her in an unexpected place, she pushes back with a fight rather than accepts defeat.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Rebecca “Becket” Branch. She has a big sister named Caroline who is finishing sixth grade and twin brother named Nicholas who is finishing third grade. Her family is packing up and moving to Blackberry Farm where her Veterinarian parents will take over the town’s Animal Clinic and help out her Gran run the Farm Store. The twins are as different as they can be. Becket has a positive attitude to change while Nicholas is not. Moving to the country also means Becket will no longer share her room with her big sister, and that’s a change she isn’t ready for. A girl up for anything, Becket creates a list to make sure she will do everything to be a country kid even when life in the country isn’t always a smooth ride.
The Becket List is very well written and upbeat. I love that Becket is a team player, an easy going daughter who is okay with everything tossed her way. Often I feel her parents are harder on her than on her twin, Nicholas because she’s tasks with all the chores and he doesn’t. I do like reading about an opposite character from Becket because it helps me to understand that some kid takes longer than others to agree to change. I like that their parents sign them up to summer activities anyway even knowing Nicholas will not embrace it immediately. I like the story on Mr. Fancypants, their dog. I love his naps by the shaded tree under the sun. The comparison between city life and country life is interesting and I highly recommend everyone to read this book.
Pro: positive attitude, country life vs city life, friendship, family, family pet, chores, summer camps, diversity,
I rate it 5 stars!
An Interview with Becket Branch (provided by Publisher)
1. Why did you decide to change your name from Rebecca to Becket?
Hiiiiiii! Well, for one thing, I am really good at running fast, and Becket is a name that sounds like it runs faster than Rebecca. Also Becket fits better on a name-tag, which is important because I’m going to a new camp and new school this year.
2. You experience big changes moving from New York City to the country. What will you miss most about the big city?
I miss all the ways you can get around in the city. You can walk, take the bus or the subway– or even a taxi cab.
Also, food trucks. You can get anything– pretzels, burritos, popsicles, tacos, muffins, pickles– from a food truck. It’s snacks on wheels!
3. What’s a Beautiful Alert and what was your first one?
Beautiful Alert is when you see something that everyone else needs to see, too—so you have to shout it the minute you see it. Even if you interrupt grown-ups talking. My first Beautiful Alert was when I saw all our city trees had bloomed overnight. I found out later they are called dogwood trees. Now that we live in the country, I see about twenty million nature-y Beautiful Alerts a day. So I have to pick how much I shout.
About the Author:
Adele Griffin is the acclaimed author of Tell Me No Lies and Be True to Me, as well as Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both finalists for the National Book Award. She lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her online at adelegriffin.com or on Twitter: @adelegriffin. (Photo and info obtained from Workman’s website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).
More Information About Algonquin Young Readers:
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.