Giant Pumpkin Suite

Giant Pumpkin Suite

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"Twelve-year-old Rose Brutigan has grown seven inches in the last eight months. She's always been different from her twin brother, Thomas, but now she towers over him in too many ways. The gap in their interests continues to widen as well. Musically talented Rose is focused on winning the upcoming Bach Cello Suites Competition, while happy-go-lucky Thomas has taken up the challenge of growing a giant pumpkin in the yard of their elderly neighbor, Mr. Pickering. But when a serious accident changes the course of the summer, Rose is forced to grow and change in ways she never could have imagined. Along the way there's tap dancing and classic musicals, mail-order worms and neighborhood-sourced compost, fresh-squeezed lemonade, the Minnesota State Fair--and an eclectic cast of local characters that readers will fall in love with."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts :, Candlewick Press,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780763691554
Branch Call Number: J FIC HILL M


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In Melanie Heuiser Hill's The Pumpkin Suite, a twelve-year old girl Rose Brutigan is constantly focused either on her cello or homework and always trying her best and working her hardest. She has never been more different from her twin brother Thomas then she was now, other than being 17 inches taller than him. Musical prodigy Rose is concentrated on winning the soon to come Bach Cello Suites Competition, while on the other hand Thomas has been on the goal of growing a giant pumpkin in their next-door neighbour, Mr. Pickering's house. However when a big incident occurs, their summer takes up in a whole different way that gets Rose into things she never would've ever imagined doing in her life.
What I liked about the book was the characterization and personalities of all the characters in the book. Small little details that made you feel and understand each person's perspective. And I like the extra details of Rose and Thomas being twins (because I have a twin brother too!) What I sometimes found hard to understand was when some sentences feel incomplete or phrases and I don't understand what they are trying to say. For example when Rose broke her middle finger I had to reread it a couple of times afterwards to get what it really meant.
In the book I liked how some parts were well foreshadowed and how you couldn't guess the plot that easily. I did not expect Ms. Holling would move to London. I liked some of the humour when Rose and Thomas and their Mom and Gram made jokes as well as how you learned new things with the character such as when Rose and Thomas went to Ms. Kiyo's house and the facts about the giant pumpkins. It was also nice how they got to know their whole neighbourhood, with little Jane and her goofy older brothers Jesse and James as well as many other neighbours all around her area. It was very easy to like Rose and Thomas, and all the characters really, which was a really nice way to write the story and I enjoyed reading it. I think a 12-13 year-old reader would like it the most (as they would be around the same age as Rose!).
(Reviewed by Vivian Y. for the CloverdaleTeenBookReviewProject)

While reading The Pumpkin Suite I was hooked on the dynamic characters and unique plot for the entire duration of the novel. It is truly an excellent representation of a story about overcoming obstacles and discovering new things about yourself and the world around you. The main character Rose Brutigan is a twelve-year-old cello prodigy. Her day to day life consists of her practicing her music skills for at least two hours doing her advanced homework or reading her all-time favorite novel Charlotte’s web. While preparing for a huge competition in which a famous musician will take the winner as his apprentice, her twin brother Thomas, has taken on the task of growing a very large pumpkin in the backyard of their neighbor an elderly man Mr. Pickering. At beginning of the summer Rose did not have time for her brothers pumpkin plans or for the rest of her quirky neighbors, but when during and accident Rose it put out of commission to play the cello. She discovers the joys of living like a normal teen who happens to be with her twin brother growing a large pumpkin it a backyard. For the rest of the summer obstacles such as a greedy competitor pumpkin farmer, a broken cello, and a huge change are in store for Rose. It was definitely exciting to follow along on the ride and watch her new story unfold. There were so many highlights to this book, but I would say a couple of my favorites in when Rose had a chance to learn more about her neighbors after her accident. They all came together to help her through the recovery and it showed the closeness of friends and family. I also really enjoyed when Rose and Thomas would work on growing the Pumpkin together, it was nice to see the sibling bond. And probably my all-time favorite parts were when Rose would explain her need to play the cello, being a musician myself it was easy to relate to Rose especially when she talked about her desire to play music. In my opinion I do not have any notes about anything that should be modified in this book. Everything was described so vividly. As well as the characters all had unique quirks that made the different types of relationships so dynamic and amusing to follow. I highly recommend anyone over the age of 11, to take the time and read this book because it is truly a great novel with a definite 5 out of 5 stars from me. The Pumpkin Suite is both humorous and emotional in one story. It pushes the regular limits of genre. I promise you will be in love from chapter one.
(Reviewed by Sydney DY for the CloverdaleTeenBookReviewProject)

Oct 29, 2017

Wonderful, engaging story with warm and appealing characters. Adults and middle-schoolers in our house gobbled it up. Can't wait for more from this author!

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