Monday, February 1, 2010

My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald

This book resonates with the idea that young people will be the ones to change the world!!

 Lucy, a twelve-year-old, helps out at the family pharmacy.  Her mother and grandmother are constantly at each other over bills and whether or not the pharmacy and their family home are going to survive.  Lucy's mom loves causes and the grandmother loves the pharmacy but neither one can see anyway to save it.  Lucy, on the other hand, is brimming with fabulous ideas.  She knows her products and one afternoon she helps an older student with a really bad hair plan gone wrong.  Soon others are coming to Lucy for advise and beauty tips.  Through an afterschool Earth Club she locates a Going Green Grant from the mayor.  All she has to do is figure out a way to tweak the pharmacy's business to fit it into a green plan.  Lucy's older sister, Claudia, a first-year college student at Northwestern, helps her fill out the grant information.   This is such a great idea for a story with so many important themes running through (green businesses, eco-friendly products, as well as what can happen when bills are a struggle, girl power) to make the book timely and relevant.  Lucy's friend Sunny is a great addition as a multi-cultural character who suffers from her very first boy crush-Lucy gives her wonderful advise here as well.  Lucy is all about being yourself and she passes this message out very well.

That said it wasn't my favorite read so far this year.  I loved Lucy-she was a great character but her mom and grandmother fell short for me.  They were slightly wooden and spent way, way too much time in the back room of the pharmacy.  There were also the little inconsistencies like when I'm broke I can't go out for pizza (they do)  and even though they are broke, Claudia, the older sister, heads to a third-world country to help out on a Spring Break trip.  Usually college trips are only partially funded by the university and it seemed an odd choice because of their financial crisis.  It would have made more sense for me if they would have just made mention that Claudia wanted to come home to help but couldn't because of flight prices or homework.  It was far-reaching for me to keep hearing allusions to expensive things when in the next chapter their power goes out because the bill hasn't been paid. 
 My thoughts are that a younger audience is not going to pay any attention to that-they are going to see Lucy as an energetic, smart character, with great life tips and not worry about these minute inconsistencies.  Even though I saw this listed as a YA title on Titlewave and in my local library I really think a younger girl audience would read it. 
Highly Recommended
Middle Grade Fiction
4/5 peaceful stars

YA Books Central-good review-a 10-year-olds review!!!
Laura Mercier's website-Lucy idolizes her and hopes to be as successful as her one day!!
This one I picked up at the public library, counting for J. Kaye's


Jenners said...

Sounds like it has some good messages but is a bit inconsistent. I like that message that it seems to send though.

Ms. Yingling said...

I loved this one for some reason-- might have been the cover. But you're right. There were some inconsistencies.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This cover is too funny. Thanks for the laugh and the review too.