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Mary C Ryan

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The Voice from the Mendelsohns' Maple
by Mary C Ryan   

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Books by Mary C Ryan
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Category: 

Children

Publisher:  Little, Brown & Co. ISBN-10:  0316763608
Pages: 

132

Copyright:  1990


Penny Eagan expectgs to have a dismal summer. But when she meets a talking tree and spontaneously decides to talk back to it, her summer is turned upside down.

The actual voice belongs to one Miss Katherine Cooper, an elderly lady who has no idea how she got stranded up in the branches. Penny manages to rescue her. Later, her curiosity leads her to Beacon Manor, a senior citizens' residence, where she meets a group of older people who, much to her surprise, don't seem to act their age.


Professional Reviews

From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-- When thirteen-year-old Penny discovers an elderly woman in a tattered dress hiding in the neighbors' maple tree, she decides to emulate her favorite storybook sleuth and find out what the woman is doing in the tree. Her investigation takes her to the local retirement home, where she becomes caught up in the lives of several of the residents. Penny is also bent on finding a nice man for her widowed mother to date, helping a wheelchair-bound neighbor who runs the local pet shop, and providing a clutzy schoolmate with some self-confidence. Ryan juggles the various elements deftly, tying them all together to advance the plot and mixing in a measure of humor to the goings-on. While anyone knowledgeable about hypnotism may be a bit skeptical of the villain's supposed powers, readers will probably find the story believable enough to provide a satisfying conclusion to Penny's escapades. Ryan's device of inserting definitions of potentially difficult words ( senile, spon ta neous, arduous, etc.) into the story as if Penny is keeping a list borders on being patronizing. Otherwise, this is an enjoyable story. The characters are distinct individuals, although not fully fleshed out. The treatment of the senior citizens is strong and respectful. Suggest this one to kids you're trying to wean off assorted paperback series


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