Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley (Peapod Farm, book 2)

Published by Random House Graphic

Summary:  Jen and her family continue the story started in Stepping Stones.  She and her mom have settled into the routine of life on Peapod Farm with her mother’s boyfriend Walter.  Walter’s daughters Andy and Reese visit on the weekends.  Fall brings the beginning of middle school and a job for Andy and Jen helping to set up a haunted hayride at a neighboring farm.  The owner’s nephew Eddie is also working there, and even though he and Jen have a lot of common interests, Andy has a crush on him.  Jen doesn’t understand all the fuss made about romance and runs into even more issues with this when she becomes friends at school with a boy named Ollie.  Like it or not, romance is part of middle school life, and Jen has to learn to both deal with it and to speak up for herself and what she wants in her own life.  Includes several pages at the end in which Lucy shares incidents from her childhood that influenced this book.  208 pages; grades 3-7.

Pros:  Another fun graphic novel about a middle school girl that does a great job capturing family and friendship dynamics.  The fall setting makes this a perfect back-to-school book.

Cons:  While I would no longer describe Walter as verbally abusive (as I did in my review of book 1), he still presents as an insensitive dunderhead.  

June 29, 2022 at 03:30PM Janet Dawson