Pish Posh

Potter, Ellen. Pish Posh. 2006. 166p. Scholastic Inc.

For Ages: 9-12 years

11-year-old Clara Frankofile lives in the ultra-trendy world of the Pish Posh restaurant in Manhattan.  Sitting at her special table, in her ubiquitous black dress and sunglasses, Clara can make or break a person’s reputation by announcing them as somebody or nobody. 

 

            Clara declares Dr. Piff a nobody and has him kicked out of the restaurant.  But Dr. Piff’s words that Clara “doesn’t see what’s happening” haunt her.  When a twelve-year-old jewel thief robs her, Clara decides to take a go beyond her restaurant world and solve a mystery at the Pish Posh.

 

            A short fun read for a precocious kid whose reading level isn’t quite up to their love of a complicated story.  Clara’s world is fantastic.  Her apartment has a real rollercoaster, her own beach, an ice skating rink, and a real live climbing tree. Clara’s journey to discover herself is interesting.  The final mystery explanation rambles on a bit and is somewhat gory for elementary school kids.  Still, precocious kids like Clara probably won’t be fazed by the gore and will enjoy the adult-like aspects of the mystery, as well as the way Clara has an adult-like freedom but is still really just a kid at heart.

Fairest

**** Levine, Gail Carson. Fairest. 2006. 326p. HarperCollins.

 For ages: 10 years and up

 

            Aza is content to live forever with her adopted family in the land of Ayorthia helping them run the Featherbed Inn.  It’s true she can sing well—something treasured by Ayorthian’s—but that doesn’t keep Aza from worrying about her larger than average stature or her full face, not to mention her shocking dark hair and large red lips. Aza is content cleaning up in the background until a duchess arrives and takes a liking to Aza.  When the Duchess’s servant is taken ill, Aza is asked to accompany the Duchess to the King’s wedding.

 

            At the castle, new queen Ivy discovers Aza’s special talent for throwing her voice and making it seem as someone else is singing. Thin-voiced Ivy persuades Aza to sing for her in a kind of Milli-Vanilli lip-sinking arrangement.  Things get more complicated when the king is gravely injured and Ivy takes over as ruler of Ayorthia.  Ivy threatens Aza’s family inn unless Aza continues to sing for Ivy and keep their secret. Aza feels terrible lying to her kingdom, especially to Prince Ijori, the king’s nephew and Aza’s only real friend.  So there’s no one she can confess her concerns to when Ivy grows more and more attached to the advice of her special mirror.

 

Loosely based on the fairytale Snow White, this tale takes place in a nearby country of the same world as Ella’s from Ella Enchanted.   Levine has a knack for creating life-like fairytale lands.  Ayorthaia, a land of song, comes alive in the book.  I felt like I was reading a musical and could hear the songs and melodies of Aza’s world even though there were only words.  The romance is sweet and tame and Aza’s adventures and journey’s were compelling. My daughter loved this book and insisted I read it.  I’m usually a slow reader but I read all 326 pages in just 3 days.  That’s a good read.

Top 6 of 2006 (In Alphapbetical Order)

Favorite Activities of the Year:

      1)      February SCWBI Conference in NYC with Heidi

      2)      Georgia Aquarium with Jen and family

      3)      March SCBWI Novel Conference in Westminster

      4)      New York City trip with the Daughterling

      5)      Summer SCBWI Conference in Westminster

      6)      Whale Watching in Juan De Fuca Strait with Kate and family

 

Favorite Books I Read:

1)      Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine

2)      (The) Midwife’s Tale, by Gretchen Moran Laskas

3)      Lion Boy, by Zizou Corder

4)      Looking for Alaska, by John Green

5)      Ptolemy’s Gate, by Jonathan Stroud

6)      Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

 

Favorite Movies or DVDs I Saw:

1)      Brick

2)      Brokeback Mountain

3)      An Inconvenient Truth

4)      Kinsey

5)      Rent

6)      Sideways

 

 Favorite Routines:

1)      Bedtime Tuck-in with the Daughterling

2)      Reading LJ entries from my Flist, Emails, and the Family Website

3)      Sitting in my “office” alone, just writing and reading

4)      Sunday Jazz Dance Class and Bike Ride There

5)      Teen Internet & Gaming Café Weekends with “Calvin & Hobbs”

6)      Weekly Lunches with Martin

 

Favorite TV Shows I Watched:

1)      Battlestar Galactica

2)      Daily Show, The

3)      Friday Night Lights

4)      Gilmore Girls

5)      Supernatural

6)      Veronica Mars

 

~Write Your Own List in the Comments or Your LJ.  I love reading these. Really!  Consider yourself tagged. Feel free to add or delete categories.~

December 2006: Inbrief

Quote of the Month:

“The President believes in fighting a war up to the last possible second.  Giving armed conflict every chance to succeed, until all violent means have been utterly exhausted. Only then, as a last resort, do we put diplomats on the ground for the grim task of talking.” John Oliver on The Daily Show, 12-4-06

 

Hightlights:

-Read through 2nd draft of my middle grade historical fiction novel and made a chapter-by-chapter spreadsheet.  Whoo boy!  Some decent scenes surrounded by utter crap.

 

-Relaxing Christmas: only a few nice presents, low-key celebrations

 

– Kids’ Vacation: 7 days of full-on Internet gaming café

                    

Books Finished:

*** ½   An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green

***       Pish Posh, by Ellen Potter

****     Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine

** ½    American Theocracy, by Kevin Phillips

*** ½  Gingerbread, by Rachel Cohn

 

Movies Seen:

*** ½   O’ Brother Where Art Thou?

****     Brick


Sub Jobs:

Morning in 2nd Grade Class

Sub Sampler Day- 2 hours in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd


Favorite TV
:

****     Buffy, season 4, in Spanish w/ English subtitles

****     Friday Night Lights

****     Supernatural

***       Angel, season 1, in French w/ English subtitles

***       Gilmore Girls

***       Heroes

***       O.C.