by Lois Lowry
I have enjoyed other books by Lois Lowry, but some of hers are a little.... "odd." So, I picked this one up with some concerns, especially since, once again, I was to be the tie-breaker reader for our school library. I can understand why one parent said "no" to the book.... mainly because the parents and the children don't really like each other. There is no hate between, mostly just indifference. The parents are annoyed at having to care for the children, and the children, who consider themselves old-fashioned (and not attached to their "cold" parents), long to be "orphans like children in old-fashioned books." (There are a number of references to classic children's literature.) Therefore, the parents hire a nanny and embark on a trip around the world (to be rid of the children), and the children hope for a "romantic end" to their parents on their adventure. The real story is about the children finding another family (a loving one) to be part of after they are actually orphaned. The glossary and "bibliography" (brief descriptions of the class novels referenced in the story) in the back are quite funny. Actually, the book is a parody of a "classic," but I don't think most children will understand that. Everyone ends up (well, the "good guys" anyway) living happily ever after, of course.
In the end, I finally decided to give it a "yes" vote, but I recommend it for older children (5th-6th grade).