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Penelope Crumb Never Forgets (2013)

by Shawn K. Stout(Favorite Author)
3.73 of 5 Votes: 5
0399257292 (ISBN13: 9780399257292)
Penelope Crumb
review 1: Now that Penelope has discovered (in book 1 - Penelope Crumb)that her grandfather is alive and living a metro ride away, she has begun helping him and is curious about his work as a photographer. He's traveled everywhere and had his photographs published in famous magazines like LIFE and National Geographic. His pictures spill out everywhere in his apartment. Each one has a story and Penelope likes to know them and discover the details that are remembered about them.Penelope wonders about memories. She wonders about the stories behind the collection of artifacts displayed in the Portwaller History Museum. What were the people like who ate off these plates or hugged this teddy bear or wore those shoes. While she is wondering about these people from the past she notices... more that most of the kids are in the gift shop. Most of the kids have not even looked at most of the artifacts in the museum. Penelope doesn't think this is right and she decides to ask her best friend, Patsy Cline about it. And that's when she notices that Patsy and Vera are buying best friend necklaces. If they are doing that, then Penelope must not be Patsy's friend anymore. That hurts and not taking time to notice things in the museum seems disrespectful and when Penelope says so in a voice that her teacher, Miss Stunkle thinks is too loud she is asked to spend the rest of the field trip on the bus waiting with the driver.Penelope decides then and there that she will not forget the people who are important to her. She decides to turn her closet into a museum in honor of all the people in her life who are important to her. She calls it her Museum of Forget-Me-Notters and she collects things to display. Unfortunately they are things that the people she cares about needs. Her grandfather needs his camera. Her mom needs her sketch book and Patsy needs her necklace back.Penelope has some problems to solve. You'll be surprised to find out how everything turns out in the end. Here's a teeny peek: Mom is quiet most of the way…"It's not easy being you, is it?" I shrug. "I don't know how to be anybody else." She nods and gives me a half smile. "I guess that's true." …"What's it like being you?" I asked. She squints her eyes like she's really giving her brains a workout and takes a while to come up with an answer. When she pulls up to the curb outside of Grandpa's apartment, she says, "Challenging. Some of the time." She strokes my hair. "But also pretty wonderful." "Maybe it's not easy being anybody. Even dead people have the problem of being forgotten," I say. "And also the problem of being dead."I like Penelope. I hope you will too.
review 2: I guess I wanted to like this book, but it's too much like Junie B. Jones or Clementine, just another year older, and really didn't excite me. I felt like there were too many holes and unfinished business, and in the end I felt like Penelope had lost (a friend, her toolbox, her museum) more that she had gained in the story. Ok, maybe if I go deep I can say that she gained a way to keep her memories alive, but without having any more information about her dad's death I was confused about a lot of things - Why does her mother draw all of her pictures with her eyes closed?, Why does her brother hide his art talent?, Why does Patsy Cline want to break off their friendship initially? Why did she think her grandfather was Graveyard dead? Maybe I would know some of those answers if I had read the first book, but truthfully I didn't even realize until I came to post this review that this was a sequel to a previous book. Finally, I have to say that I get discouraged when I read books that portray teachers as heartless, clueless creatures as Miss Stunkel is portrayed. Teachers get enough of a bad rap in real life, do we really need fictional teachers to be uncaring, angry, soulless beings biding their time until retirement? Please! less
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I reviewed this book for SLJ, and the review may appear in a future issue.
Loving Penelope. Looking forward to her next story.
So fun!
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