Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Moon Over High Street by Natalie Babbitt

The Moon Over High Street by Natalie Babbitt is about Joe Casimir, who has a big decision to make.

When Joe goes to visit a distant relative for the summer, he anticipates a slightly boring few weeks. However, when a chain of circumstances brings him in contact with the wealthy Mr. Boulderwall, Joe's life could change forever. Mr. Boulderwall is looking for an heir, someone he could train up to be his replacement at the factory he started. Joe, an orphan of Polish descent, reminds Mr. Boulderwall of himself at that age. Why shouldn't he adopt the boy, he wonders, and mold him into the perfect factory manager? It would be a fantastic opportunity for Joe . . . but Joe has plans of his own, dreams that reach as high as the moon.

This is a gentle, almost folksy read. The style is typical of Natalie Babbitt, and similar to that of Patricia MacLachlan. I must admit that I found the story a bit flat. Nothing in the plot, characters, or setting made the book particularly distinctive. It reads like a lazy summer afternoon -- the sort of afternoon that leaves your inner child pacing around moaning "I'm bo-ored!" Babbitt has written some lovely books, but this is not one of her strongest works.

(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)

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