Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mo Wren, Lost and Found review

Mo Wren, Lost and Found
This is the story of what happened after Fox Street.  Mo Wren knew that eventually she, her dad, and her sister would have to move from beloved Fox Street. She just never expected it to happen so soon.  At the Wrens’ new place, things are very different. The name of the street—East 213th—has absolutely zero magic. And there’s no Mrs. Petrone to cut her hair, no Pi Baggott to teach her how to skateboard, no Green Kingdom to explore. She’s having trouble fitting in at her new school and spending a lot of time using the corner bus shelter for her Thinking Spot. Worst of all, Mo discovers that the ramshackle restaurant Mr. Wren bought is cursed.   For the first time in her life, Mo feels lost and out of place. It’s going to take a boy who tells whoppers, a Laundromat with a mysterious owner, a freak blizzard, and some courage to help her find her way home for good.(goodreads summary)

Mo has lived her entire life on Fox Street and this is where she called home. After selling their house, her family moves to the city following her father's dream of opening a restaurant. Things are all so different now and she finds herself having a hard time adjusting to all the sudden changes. Her younger sister Dottie though seems to fit in quite well with her new classmates and surroundings. Mo misses the comfort of Fox Street but soon finds the local laundromat a place of warmth. She meets Carmella, the owner of The Soap Opera, who seems to have a small hidden secret, along with the many other people who frequent there. She becomes friends with Shawn, a boy from her class who seems to be full of nonstop energy and big stories. Her dad is working hard at making a new life for the Wrens but Mo has also heard rumor that the restaurant is cursed, only adding to the many worries she already has.  Finding a sense of place in her new home has challenging obstacles but she will soon find that it just may be what the Wrens need after all.

This wonderful book is a sequel to What Happened on Fox Street, which I read when it first came out a couple years ago. I thought it was a great book for kids and was happy to see a second one continue on with the Wren's story. Even if the first has not been read, you will easily pick up on the family's storyline. It gives a descriptive overview of the diverse characters back on Fox Street and gently touches on Mo's mother's death that brings you quickly up to speed. Mo's voice is truly believable from her feelings and thoughts of a child who experiences the loss of a parent or changes of moving to an unfamiliar place.  She is uncertain with her fitting in and looks back on what she misses most about Fox Street. Her changing life takes her to many characters in her new neighborhood who have wisdom, wit, personality and charm of their own. Each person is a story within itself and yet they show a great sense of community and what it means to be a good neighbor.  I mainly loved this book for it's wonderful writing. The author has a beautiful flair of style when it comes to words. For example one of my favorites:  - Some kindly giant hand found the sun's plug and connected it. If you closed your eyes and tilted your face, the backs of your eyelids prickled with color, and warmth brushed your brow and cheeks. In the park, green grass islands dotted the snowy sea. (pg. 124).   I actually envisioned it in my mind, feeling the well thought out meaning behind the words that the author was expressing to her readers through her writing talents. The story flowed with many sentences like these and not only will this help our children become better readers but writers as well. The story represents change is something that does happen but if you give it a chance it might turn out to be a good thing after all.  It is a heartwarming story about family, friendship, community, hard work, finding acceptance and most of all love.  I love books like these for our children and hope Mo's story continues on to become many new ones in the future.  I think this is a "just right book" for ages 9-12.~

Title: Mo Wren, Lost and Found
Author: Tricia Springstubb
Pub. Date: August 2011, Balzer & Bray
Genre: realistic fiction
Hardcover, 248 pgs.
Book received from author in exchange for my honest review.

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