Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review of Pickle Impossible by Eli Stutz

I wrote this review for School Library Journal - see the rest of the Grade 5 and Up reviews here.

STUTZ, Eli. Pickle Impossible. illus. by C. B. Canga. 208p. CIP. Bloomsbury. 2010. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-59990-464-1. LC 2009035313.
Gr 4-6–Aurore, 12, helps her pickle-farmer grandfather Zacharie Borsht kidnap young Pierre La Bouche, the grandson of his greatest rival, but then she helps the boy escape and together they make their way from France to Bern, Switzerland, where an international pickle contest is being held. The grand prize is $100,000 which should be enough to save the La Bouche farm–unless the Borshts can either steal Pierre’s pickles or prevent him from entering the contest. Narrated by vivacious and conceited Aurore, the story has a lively tone but the language is oddly stilted. The plot speeds along until it gets hung up in a twist involving a plant that bestows eternal youth, a particle accelerator that causes premature aging, and Pierre’s long-lost grandmother. There are many other strange occurrences and coincidences that aren’t explained or strain credulity, distracting from the plot and making this a light yet unsatisfying and confusing adventure.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

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