Polly Peabody lives on a farm where the rhubarb taste like chocolate and fixes the hole in the ozone layer, where you can’t drown in the lake no matter what, where bugs and plants talk to her and where it rains every Monday at exactly 1 o’clock. Until the Monday it doesn’t rain and things start to fall apart. Her brother Freddy gets sick, her aunt wants to sell the farm, all the plants start to wilt and die from lack of rain, and funding for the farm dries up just like the rain.
I think this book could have been much better if the magical/fantasy portions of it had been left out or at least toned down. They didn’t seem to make a lot of sense and they took away from what I thought was the true point of the story…Polly’s journey of self-discovery, learning who she is and what she is really capable of. I am seriously you have talking plants, bugs that spell, spiders that talk, magic tasting rhubarb, magic rain…but only on this one farm in what is otherwise our normal world. It really didn’t make sense and there was no adequate explanation for it. I would have been ok with the magical abilities of the women in the family. That could have been explained by genetic mutation, which is touched on in the book. But it doesn’t explain the rest of it. Aside from the absurd magic stuff the rest of the plot was a decent coming of age story. Polly grows up quite a bit in the book. She learns a lot about herself and those around her. It could have used a bit of editing for both content and size…there were errors and it was too long/too much filler.
This is a 2012-13 Missouri Mark Twain Award Nominee.