- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; Reprint edition (December 22, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 141696794X
- ISBN-13: 978-1416967941
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 61 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Teashop Girls Paperback – December 22, 2009
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“Everything tea drinkers might want to know about that beverage can be found in this clever first novel.” —Publishers Weekly
“Like good tea: comforting, refreshing, and sustaining.” —Booklist
“a satisfying story” —Kirkus
About the Author
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and daughter. When she’s not writing middle grade novels, you might find her scoping out local coffee shops, taking long walks with only partially working headphones, and poking around the library for treasures. Laura’s favorite Little Women character is Jo (whose isn’t?), but she confesses to a strong fondness for Amy as well. Visit her online at LauraSchaeferWriter.com or follow her on Twitter at @TeaShopGirl.
Sujean Rim is an illustrator whose work is often seen on DailyCandy. She lives in New York City.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Teashop girls
“My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.”
—CHARLES DICKENS, MRS. LIRRIPER’S LEGACY
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do many things, and when it comes to tea, my opinion is one should not mess around. My grandmother Louisa first taught me to brew a fine pot of tea when I was five years old. She told me what a nice job I had done, and I announced I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. Louisa laughed merrily at the time. I hoped she wouldn’t laugh today. I couldn’t bear the thought of being laughed at today, which is why I, Annie Green, am hiding out in the storage room of the Steeping Leaf.
Well, not hiding exactly. That would be silly. I love the Leaf, and there isn’t anything out there to hide from, least of all my grandmother Louisa. But the fact of the matter is I am here in her teashop, she doesn’t know it yet, and the reason for all my sneaking around is I need to psych myself up for what I am about to do.
You know how some people have weird/cool talents, like being able to wiggle their ears back and forth just by concentrating really hard? Well, I have one too. I can stand on my head forever. Like, seriously forever. My two brothers can even try to tickle my feet to knock me over, and I just make faces at them, upside down, secure in the knowledge that I am just as steady on my head as they are on their feet. Which isn’t, come to think of it, as steady as, say, Louisa is on her feet, but it’s pretty darn good. And as a bonus, when I stand on my head, I can feel myself getting smarter and calmer. I think it has something to do with the fact that a headstand is a real yoga pose.
With two younger brothers and an older sister, it’s hard to ever find even half a moment alone. And the silence of the storage room is blissful. It’s just me, upside down and Zenlike amidst a few dozen boxes of loose tea, some old teacups Louisa hasn’t taken to St. Vinny’s yet, and my “Perfect Cup of Tea Instructions,” which I’ve written on a whiteboard that, for readability’s sake, has also assumed the sirsha-asana pose.
I am almost ready to ask for a job here as a barista. And when I do, I will be calm, centered, grown-up, and only slightly red in the face. I am a tiny bit worried because sometimes my family doesn’t take me seriously. Everyone else in my family already has their “thing”—Beth is all “college, college, college … did I mention that I’m going away to college in the fall?” and Luke and Billy have the lock on the local emergency room—skateboarders, it’s like they have a death wish or something. My mom has her students, and my dad has his engineering projects. And I have tea.
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m interested in a lot of things and I tend to announce my newest obsessions rather frequently—but working at the Leaf is not just a phase. I’ve always loved the Leaf and confess that I consider it partly, well, mine. Am I ready to be a barista, taking money, making complex foamy drinks, and asking after the customers’ families like the perfect hostess? I think so. I hope Louisa does, too.
Still staring at the board and mentally picturing each and every step of brewing a pot of tea, I sighed happily and closed my eyes to fully commune with the delicious smells of the shop. Inhale. Exhale. “I am one with the tea. The tea is one with me. I am one with the t—”
The storage door banged and there was some commotion. My eyes snapped open, but all I could see was a pair of legs in jeans. And a box. A really big box. A really big box coming straight at me. “Hey, watch out!”
Instead of changing course however, the startled jeans-wearer swung the box around. Right into me. “AUGHH!” he cried, tripping a little and juggling the box. It was definitely a he, I thought as I tumbled over, directly into a precarious stack of napkins, tea samples, and the shelf with the old cups. CRASH! went one cup. Then, CRASH! CRASH! CRASH! came three more. Ouch.
The napkins flew everywhere, and some of the samples burst open, sending leaves and particles of rosehips, chamomile, orange spice, and white tea every which way. I stared at the intruder from the corner where I was sprawled out, confused. I thought Louisa was the only one who ever came in here. Well, and me, of course. CRASH! One more cup slid to the ground.
The intruder set his box down veeery slowly and righted the shelf I had tipped. I was just about to sputter something extremely non-Zenlike when the words got tangled up in my tongue. My scowl fully retreated as my eyes widened. Why hadn’t I seen him before? It occurred to me that most girls could go a whole life time of seeing strange boys in teashops (grocery stores, movie theaters, stadiums … you get the idea) and not lay eyes on someone so perfectly gorgeous.
“What were you do ing?” he asked, offering me a hand up. I took it slowly, my stomach flipping.
“I … I …” Apparently, I could no longer speak. Great.
He cocked his head expectantly. I stared. And stared. And stared. Finally I said the first and best thing that came to mind. “I was standing on my head. I do that.”
I do that. Wow. Smooth. I could feel my face reddening.
“Oh.” He looked at me as if I were some amusing—yet potentially deranged—creature from another planet. “Why?”
I didn’t get the chance to reply because the door to the main shop opened again and Louisa came hurrying into the room, her scarves flowing luxuriantly behind her.
“What on earth? Is everything all right? Annie, my sweetness! What are you doing here?”
Just when you think your face can’t get any redder, know this:
61 customer reviews
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This book is a five star book, best for ten to thirteen year olds. This book is five stars because it meets all of my criteria: I can relate to the characters, it’s funny, and there is drama.
I can relate to the characters. For example, “My eyes filled with tears. Maybe helping out was just q phase for Gen. She didn’t really care about it after all,” (Page 198). This shows that I can relate to the characters because it is normal to fight with friends sometimes even if it’s about something stupid. Another example is, “[…] It was a Friday and I am a freak for even thinking about homework on a Friday,” (Page 31). Because of this we know that the Teashop Girls also are always worried about homework and if they forgot to do anything for school just like I always do.
This book is funny. For example on page 4-5 it says, “And the silence of the storage room is blissful. It’s just me, upside down and Zenlike amidst a few dozen boxes of loose tea, some old teacups […] ‘I am one with the tea. The tea is one with me. I am one with the t---’” (Page 4-5). This proves that this book is funny because you don’t usually think of yourself as one with the tea, you usually think that you are one with the universe. Here is another example where there is humour, “‘I was standing on my head. I do that,’” (Page 7). This shows that this book has humour because normally people don’t stand on their heads in a storage room.
There is drama. For instance, “‘That’s what I thought at first, too,’ I said. ‘Stuff happens. But I think there might have been an unpaid bill. Louisa says that the Steeping Leaf doesn’t have a hip crowd; it has a hip-replacement crowd. What if they’ve mostly all croaked, and there’s no new customers?’” (Page 26). Because of this, we know that the Steeping leaf is having financial troubles and it leaves you wondering what will happen next. Another example is on page 188, “‘[…] Anyway, you might want to ask your friend what she said about this summer. After you left. Sounds like there will be one less Teashop Girl around.’” (Page 188) This proves that the book has drama because Annie is left wondering what Zach (Her enemy) is talking about and is confused.
All in all, in this book, we learn that friendship is a very powerful force. There are a lot of books, but I have never seen a book like this. This was such a good book it has inspired me to read the whole series. If you like books where you can you relate to the characters, and books with drama and humour, I would recommend reading this book.