I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Pumpkin War by Cathleen Young
Genres: Middle Grade
Published by Wendy Lamb Books on May 21, 2019
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"Cathleen Young's characters will forever have a place in my heart." --Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7s
Former best friends compete to see who can grow the biggest pumpkin and win the annual giant pumpkin race on the lake. A great pick for fans of Half a Chance and Gertie's Leap to Greatness.
At the end of every summer, Madeline Island hosts its famous pumpkin race. All summer, adults and kids across the island grow giant, 1000-pound pumpkins, then hollow one out, and paddle in it across the lake to the cheers of the entire town.
Twelve-year-old Billie loves to win; she has a bulletin board overflowing with first prize ribbons. Her best friend Sam doesn't care much about winning, or at least Billie didn't think so until last summer's race, when his pumpkin crashed into hers as she was about to cross the finish line, and he won. This summer, Billie is determined to get revenge by growing the best and biggest pumpkin, and beat Sam in the race. It's a tricky science to grow pumpkins, since weather, bugs and other critters can wipe out a crop. Then a surprise visit from a long lost relative shakes things up, and Billie begins to see her family, and her bond with Sam, in a new way.
Here is what I thought
The Pumpkin War is a cute coming of age story about a girl named Billie and how she learns a few things over the summer when a surprise visitor shows up.
Last summer Billies best friend Sam hit her pumpkin in the pumpkin wars, which is a contest where you grow a big pumpkin and carve it out then race it down the river, he swears he didn’t do it on purpose. She doesn’t believe him and quits being friends with him because he caused her to lose the race.
Billie and Sam have done everything together since they were little but she can’t let go of last summer’s pumpkin war. Sam tries everything he can to get her to forgive him but she refuses. She starts to see Sam in a new light when a stranger comes to town and she learns about how forgiveness is more for yourself than for the one you’re trying to forgive.
I enjoyed this book but I wasn’t always a fan of Billie, I thought she was a little self absorbed as she always just thought of herself. How she likes to win, the fact that she would have won if it wasn’t for Sam, etc. I am really glad she redeems herself as she was really just a brat. I really liked Sam and felt bad for him.
Overall, I think this would be a cute story for young readers.