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Me and the Pumpkin Queen by [Kennedy, Marlane]
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Me and the Pumpkin Queen Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Mildred misses her mother. She died when the 11-year-old was only six. But one thing Mildred remembers about her mother is how she loved Circleville, Ohio's pumpkin festival. So Mildred takes up growing pumpkins, big ones—make that huge ones—all in hopes of winning the pumpkin show weigh-off. "I don't think I'm abnormally obsessive," Mildred says as the book opens, but frankly, anyone reading her story might beg to differ. Told in a first-person narrative, this novel offers a step-by-step, detailed explanation of how to grow giant pumpkins. Fortunately, there is more: Mildred's prickly relationship with her aunt; her satisfying bond with her veterinarian father (a rather graphic description of a calve's birthing is included); and a little about her friendship with other kids. But, mostly, this is about growing pumpkins. Interestingly, even readers with no particular interest in the topic are likely to be drawn in by Kennedy's straightforward narrative, as solid and unadorned as a pumpkin, yet lovely in its own way. Cooper, Ilene

About the Author

Marlane Kennedy moved to Circleville, Ohio, at age eleven. She participated in many Pumpkin Show parades as a child, but never tried growing her own giant pumpkin. But after writing Me and the Pumpkin Queen, she planted her own Howard Dill's Atlantic Giant seed and grew a 250-pounder, pictured above, that took fifth prize in her local fair. Marlane Kennedy is also the author of The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes. She lives in Wooster, Ohio, with her husband and three children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 259 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (January 21, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QB9F80
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a former 1st, 4th and 5th grade teacher. I now teach graduate level courses to future teachers preparing to teach elementary school. Me and the Pumpkin Queen is delightful from start to finish and I wish that I had it when I taught 4th and 5th grade years ago. I believe my advanced readers as well as my reluctant readers would have enjoyed it. It is written in a straightforward way without being "flowery" or overly simplistic. The voice of the main charater is clear and genuine.

The main character, Mildred, is a determined and well grounded 5th grade girl who wants to grow a giant pumpkin. The book contains elements of growing up and a platonic friendship between Mildred and her best freind, Jacob. Both of these issues are written about in a tasteful and realistic way. Mildred's father is a veterinarian and she discusses his work and the animals they encounter. I think that this element, among others, will make this book appealing to both boys and girls. Mildred also reflects upon the loss of her mother when she was only six and she deals with her grief through the pumpkin growing process. This is a strong theme in the book that is beautifully and subtle handled. Mildred also has an aunt who has other ideas for her than growing giant pumpkins. All of these themes are written about gracefully and age appropriately, which is very refreshing.

I was deeply satisfied with the ending (I won't give it away!) and will recommend this book to my future students and also to my friends who have children that are the age of Mildred. I look forward to reading future books by this author.
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Format: Hardcover
I recommend this book to all children of the age specified and/or parents, teachers, after school directors, baby-sitters - well you get the idea... Anyone who spends time with children, this is a wonderful read, meant to be shared and savoured.

To honor her Mom, eleven year old Mildred is determined to win the Circleville, Ohio, Pumpkin Show and fulfill a dream left undone by her mother's untimely death. However, with each passing season something goes inherently wrong and her dreams are dashed again and again. Aunt Arlene is more than a bit concerned about Mildred's apparent obsession with pumpkins and tries, in her overtly pushy way, to persuade her niece to pursue more feminine interests, such as make up and fancy clothing. Thankfully, Mildred's dad doesn't agree with Auntie Arlene and continues to support his daughter and her individual dreams. Knowing and understanding his only daughter in ways that only a father can, he is able to challenge Mildred to take her future into her own hands and follow her heart with unbridled passion. Thus allowing herself to grow into the incredible young woman her mother always knew she would one day become.

Kennedy's attention to detail proves this to be a well researched novel that introduces readers to the relatively unknown competitions that require much more than good seeds and luck to produce a thousand pound champion. Well crafted and heartwarming, the characters could easily be members of your own family or next door neighbors. The narrative reads like a family tale told over a huge dinner, with lots of laughs, a few tears and the busy body aunt that always means well but just can't quite find the right way to express herself without appearing... well, pushy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though the maain character in this story is a girl, my son and I enjoyed reading this story together when he was in 5th grade. There are a few referrences to becoming a lady, clothes shopping and dressing nicely to make more friends. This is off set by the main character not being interested in fashionable clothing. The story talks a lot about being yourself and sticking with what interests you and not giving up. Mildred struggles with her Aunt, who is trying to take the place of her mother, who has passed away. Mildred understands her Aunt's attempts of turning her into a lady and understands her aunt just cares. But through the story Mildred never gives up on her true passion, growing pumpkins. Not just nay pumpkin, the biggest pumpkin.
This is a great cmoing of age story and a great story about gardening and some science behind growing the biggest pumpkin. Enough of the story was based around the gardening that my son didn't mind the girly parts. In fact even though he wouldn't admit, I think he found the part about Mildred going bra shopping with her aunt kind of interesting. Well, probably more funny than interesting.
We really really enjoyed the story.
I would like to thank the author for writing such a wonderful book. My son does not like reading and he enjoyed this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Mildred may only be eleven years old, but she has an obsession. Unlike most girls her age, it isn't clothes or boys. It's giant pumpkins.

Now this isn't as strange as it sounds. Mildred lives in Circleville, Ohio, and has spent every October enjoying the annual pumpkin festival. The display of giant pumpkins always fascinated her mother, and her mother always planned to try to grow one herself some day.

The year Mildred's mother died, Mildred decided to grow a giant pumpkin herself. Over the last five years, she has learned everything she can. And over the last five years, something has happened every year to ruin her chances. Will this be the year that Mildred is able to submit a pumpkin of her own for the contest?

This is a wonderful book. All the characters are wonderful and real. Even the aunt who thinks that Mildred needs to give up her pumpkin growing is realistic and well drawn. And the obstacles that Mildred faces along the way are realistic. I had no interest in growing pumpkins of any kind, but I got so caught up in Mildred's quest that I felt every joy and set back right along with her.

Since this is a coming of age book, there are a couple scenes that might make boys uncomfortable involving Mildred getting her first bras. For this man, they were worth noting only in passing.

This is an entertaining and emotional book that will satisfy anyone who reads it.
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