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Main Street #1: Welcome to Camden Falls Paperback – May 1, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Main Street Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Meyers's honeyed, youthful voice gives Martin's latest, the first in the Main Street series for middle-graders, the easygoing pace one might expect from the series' title. Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger sister Ruby are orphaned when their parents are killed in a car accident. Five months after the tragedy, the siblings move with their grandmother Min to her home in the sleepy small town of Camden Falls, Mass. As the family grieves and adjusts to new circumstances—getting their life back in order—listeners are taken along to meet interesting friends and neighbors in Camden Falls. Kind-hearted Min co-owns a sewing shop, Needle and Thread, and lives in one of eight connected row houses in a historic building—all fodder for the sort of diverse community interactions, budding friendships and dramas that are the stuff of many of the author's popular works. Unfortunately, Meyers's characterizations are uneven, in contrast to her solid, straight narrative passages. Ruby's voice is too babyish and whiny, and the girls' energetic new pal Olivia is given an affected child characterization that is equally grating. Her takes on some of the older town residents, as well as a boy with Down Syndrome are slightly more successful. A bonus author interview, in which she discusses her characters, series and career is included. Ages 9-up. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

In Welcone to Camden Falls, Flora and her younger sister, Ruby, recently orphaned, have come to live with their grandmother, Min, who co-owns a fabric shop in a New England town. The adjustment to life in Camden Falls is difficult, but the girls make new friends, and Flora finds solace as she gets more deeply into her hobby, sewing. Martin does some unusual things here, telling the story from several perspectives and filling it with modern-day problems, even as the feel of the book harkens back to an earlier time. An almost dizzying array of characters is introduced, including one neighbor who has Down syndrome, another who has Alzheimer's disease, and a third who is struggling with aging. A new friend must deal with a mother who drinks and a father who is abusive. Sometimes these problems overwhelm the story, but Martin's easy style, appealing characters, and obvious love of place will keep readers going. Cooper, Ilene
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 860L (What's this?)
  • Series: Main Street (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; 2nd printing edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545036593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439868792
  • ASIN: 0439868793
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Yoomi VINE VOICE on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
it is difficult to not think of "the baby-sitters club" when thinking of ann m. martin. i loved that series and my sister and i read and re-read the books until they fell apart in our hands. she created believable characters that we wished we could befriend. she does that again here, in a place called camden falls. it's a small town where everyone knows everyone else. flora and lucy are two sisters who find themselves suddenly uprooted from their homes when their parents die in an accident. their grandmother, min, comes to take them back to her home. the girls struggle to adjust to life without their parents and life in a new place but they have plenty of help. their grandmother's shop "needle and thread" serves as a workplace as well as a meet and greet. they have a friend, olivia, and soon will meet nikki to complete the group of 4. ann m. martin takes us into people homes, looking into their windows and their lives, to give us a sense of the community, and sets the stage for another great series for girls.

i eagerly await the second book of the series that is set to come out august 1st!
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading the first book in the new MAIN STREET series by Ann M. Martin. I am glad that she is doing another series. I have many girls in my 5th-grade class who are still reading THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB and this new series is a little more timely.

It is the story of two sisters, Flora and Ruby, who lose their parents one night in a terrible car crash. Their grandmother picks up the pieces of their lives and they move to Camden Falls to live with her. Their grandmother owns a sewing shop and the girls help her out. There they meet two other girls -- Olivia, who lives next door and whose grandmother is co-owner of the shop, and Nikki, who is poor and lives on the wrong side of town.

Flora, Olivia, and Nikki are all in sixth grade and have the same teacher, and Ruby will be in fourth grade.

The author has made a simple story very contemporary by including many social issues that kids need to face each day. There is a family contending with Alzheimers Disease and another with downsizing. Flora is faced with trying to know who she is and who her parents were, there is a lady who has been in a concentration camp, another family who has a teen with Down Syndrome, and poverty. It is an intelligent and not watered down story.

I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series and introducing them to my class in the fall.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Main Street is another delightful series by Ann M Martin, full of characters and their stories.
I admire Ann because she shows children real life, in a sweet way. I think this book was almost a teensy bit depressing sometimes though and I feel very sad whenever I think of Robby being teased in the shop :(
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Format: Audio CD
Losing a parent is one of the most devastating experiences a child can have. Losing both at once is even more so. Welcome to Camden Falls (audiobook) captivated my eight-year-old daughter for hours as she quietly listened to the story of Ruby and Flora's lives unfold. Having lost both parents in a freak auto accident, both children are sent to live with their grandmother, Min, named due to her "in a minute" attitude when the kids would come visit to her and want to play.

When asked what interested my daughter the most in the story, she couldn't really put it to words. My guess is she could relate to both the eight and eleven-year-old characters the most. Since I spent a great deal of my young adult life in New England, I enjoyed listening to the story as the author created a world of time and place I could vividly imagine. Although some of the concepts in the book are meant for 9-12 years olds, I think even eight-year-olds can enjoy many parts of the story. A delightful book!

Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of Diary of a Mother: Parenting Stories and Other Stuff and Sahm I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe, lives near Munich, Germany, with her husband and two children.
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A Kid's Review on May 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
This story is a little sad I thought. Because Flora and Rubys parents die. But after a little while I forgot about the whole sad part. And it turned out fun and happy! Well I have read the second book too. And theres a question at the end of book one that doesnt get answered unless... you read book two. This story is about two young girls who are having the best life they can without their parents. You'll love this book! Just one suggestion...... if you lovvvve it read the whole series! :-D
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Format: Paperback
This book is REALLY the BEST book ever. Flora and Ruby Northrop's parents have just died. And since there grandma (Min) is they're leagle gardian, they have to go live with her. Life with Min is harder than they expected. They have made one friend Olivia, who likes to orginize things. And they have really nice neighbors who have helped them move into their new house. But it still isn't home. Soon, Ruby and Flora make another friend, Nikki. But, there new house, and town, and friends, still aren't like home. Find out what happens if you read this book!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this book on CD for my 10 years old child for Christmas. She listens to it every night when she goes to bed. It gives her imagination and creativity to be in the characters' shoes, especially the older sister, since my child has a younger sibling of her own. I will highly recommend this book/CD.
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