Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Melanie Martin Goes Dutch

The Private Diary of My Almost Bummer Summer with Cecily, Matt the Brat, and Vincent van Go Go Go

by Carol Weston

Reviewed April 20, 2004.
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2002.  233 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF WES).

I’ve always thought that reading fiction about a place is a great way to prepare for a visit.  In this book, almost-fifth grader Melanie Martin gets to spend part of her summer vacation in the Netherlands.  It was a nice book for me to read before I went there myself last weekend, and it would be great for kids to read to make a trip more interesting.

Carol Weston captures the voice of a fifth-grader perfectly.  The rest of the story is interesting, too, with Melanie getting to bring her best friend Cecily on the trip.  The only trouble is that Cecily’s Mom is having an operation for cancer, and Melanie’s family is being nicer to Cecily than they are to Melanie.

This book is a nice preparation for a trip to the Netherlands.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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