From Publishers Weekly
Displaying a lively familiarity with the topics of makeup, makeovers and adolescent angst, Greenwald makes a bright debut with this timely story. Prospects look grim for the Old Mill Pharmacy run by 12-year-old Lucy's mother and grandmother. In order to drum up more sales, Lucy decides to offer customers beauty tips and free makeup applications. Although her efforts prove somewhat fruitful, her best idea comes after she joins her school's earth club: what if they add an eco-spa to the pharmacy? Like the recent Teashop Girls
, also about an enterprising preteen trying to save a family business, this novel takes an upbeat approach to serious issues—money struggles and impending foreclosure—underscoring the optimistic message that one individual can make a difference. Ages 10–14. (Mar.)
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After 12-year-old Lucy spots a foreclosure warning in the mail, she realizes that the small-town Connecticut pharmacy owned and run by her mother and grandmother is in jeopardy. While Mom and Grandma argue about how to handle the crisis, Lucy, an aspiring makeup artist, joins her school’s Earth Club, researches green businesses, and hatches a plan to expand the pharmacy into an eco-spa. Many young readers will recognize likable Lucy’s frustrations (“I can’t wait for the day when adults take kids seriously”), as well as her growing excitement, all expressed in an utterly believable voice: “The Earth would be healthier just because of us . . . Like, my heart beats really fast when I think about it.” Tales of young entrepreneurs featuring wish-fulfilling plots of young people gaining power have perennial appeal. This story of a family coping with dramatic financial strain may have particular resonance in the current climate, and Greenwald deftly blends eco-facts and makeup tips, friendship and family dynamics, and spot-on middle-school politics into a warm, uplifting debut. Grades 4-7. --Gillian Engberg