By Lisa Greenwald
Published by Amulet Books
Copyright © 2009
Who knew that the words makeover and green went so well together? “My Life in Pink & Green” shows us that you are never too young to look good and save the planet, at least in a small way.
Young Connecticut tween Lucy Desberg loves her family’s pharmacy and she loves the makeup and beauty products they sell there. But Lucy’s life isn’t all lip gloss and nail polish; the pharmacy and her family are struggling to make ends meet. It looks like they are going to lose their house and their business if things don’t change. Lucy isn’t sure what she can possible do to help until two fortuitous events happen. One, she helps the most popular girl in school with a major hair dilemma, and two, she joins Earth Club with her best friend Sunny. Soon she realizes that the way to save the pharmacy is to go “Pink & Green,” or in other words, focusing on beauty and environmentalism. The only problem is her mother, and grandmother, don’t take her ideas seriously, so Lucy is going to have to make them take her seriously.
“My life in Pink & Green” is a great story that relates how even young people can be proactive and ambitious and maybe even play a small role in saving the world. It is great to read a young female protagonist that knows what she wants and knows what she needs to do. It is also great that even though Lucy and Sunny do have crushes that boys are not the thrust behind their plans. Having a first crush is just a secondary theme and plot line.
Lisa Greenwald has written a story with realistic people and places, and realistic problems. Now, do I believe that the solution to the story’s problem is realistic? No, as an adult it seems just a little far out on the limb for me, but not utterly impossible. I also think that Lucy acts and talks more like a sixteen year old than a twelve year old, but what do I know, I’ve never been a 12 year old girl. Those things being said I liked Lucy’s story. Whether farfetched or not, it is encouraging youths, especially young girls, to make a difference, to have ambitions, and to shop locally. This is a must read for tween and teen girls everywhere.
By Rodman Philbrick
Published by Scholastic
Copyright © 1993
Max is big and dumb at least that’s what he thinks of himself. He hates school, he has no friends, and he is always picked on. But things are going to change when he gets new neighbors Gwen and her son Kevin. Kevin has a disease that has caused him to remain small, but he is the smartest and most fearless person that Max has ever met. Max and Kevin form a tight friendship that will help them both cope with their personal struggles.
“Freak the Mighty” is a moving book about two teens with different disabilities and abilities that complement each other. Max has a learning disability and emotional scars from the death of his mother; while he is physically imposing the reader can tell that he is quite obviously gentle and kind. Kevin on the other hand has a genetic disorder that causes among other things a small stature, abnormal spine curvature and heart, lung, and liver problems, however Kevin is extremely smart and inventive. These two have obvious physical and mental differences, but such things don’t stop either one from helping the other and forming a friendship that Max will never forget. And when Max needs help the most it will be Kevin who comes to his rescue.
This book will quickly move to the top of my favorite books list. There are no superheroes, faries, vampires, or mutants. This is just a beautiful story set in reality that shows how friendship and imagination can help people endure life’s struggles. I highly recommend this book for youths age 10 and up and for all adults.