The Becket List: A Blackberry Farm Story

illus. by LeUyen Pham. 208p. Algonquin. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781616207908.
Gr 2–4—Becket Branch and her family are moving from the city to her grandmother's farm in the country, and Becket is very excited about all the changes that are coming her way. She keeps a watchful eye for what she calls "Beautiful alerts" or any wonderful thing she wants to make a note of. She also keeps a list of all the new experiences she will be having as a country kid, including doing barnyard chores and making a new best friend. Naturally, she hits a few rough patches along the way. The animals don't always cooperate, her new potential best friend seems more interested in befriending her twin brother, and her senior citizen city dog isn't quite the country dog she was wishing for. But it is all part of the many new experiences that country life has to offer. Becket is an outgoing, refreshingly self-confident protagonist, and although she may sometimes come across as a bit pushy to her fellow characters, her enthusiasm is infectious. Readers will appreciate her ability to bounce back from whatever life hands her. Pham's sketch drawings scattered throughout enhance the energy and humor of the story.
VERDICT Give this to kids who enjoy stories with plucky female protagonists. Recommended for most collections.

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