In this tender novel set in 1955 Mill Town, Wisconsin, Sandra Kring explores the complicated bond between mothers and daughters, the pressure to conform, and the meaning of friendship and family.
Ten-year-old Isabella “Teaspoon” Marlene has been a handful ever since her mother, Catty, dumped her with an old boyfriend and ran off to Hollywood. Teaspoon fights, fibs, never stops singing, and is as unpredictable and fearless as a puppy off its leash. Still, Teddy Favors, a man who has taken his share of kicks, is determined to raise her right.
Teaspoon wants to be better for Teddy—even if that means agreeing to take part in a do-gooder mentorship program and being paired up with Brenda Bloom, the beautiful reigning Sweetheart of Mill Town. Against all odds, as the summer passes, this unlikely duo discover a special friendship as they face personal challenges, determined to follow their hearts instead of convention.
It’s while Brenda and Teaspoon are putting together the grandest show the Starlight Theater has ever seen that Catty returns to Mill Town, shattering illusions and testing loyalties. But by the final curtain call, one determined little girl shows an entire town the healing that can happen when you let your heart take center stage.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: How High the Moon|
|Release Date: 04-06-2010|
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How High the Moon
I was sitting at my desk, second seat back in the row by the window, staring outside watching jump ropes twirl and kids chase one another across the playground. The sounds of thumping red rubber balls and excited voices floating in through the rectangle screens were nothing but a big fat tease, though, because I couldn’t go out for recess. Again. I had to sit at my stupid desk and twiddle my thumbs while Mrs. Carlton, my fifth-grade teacher, corrected papers and ignored me, even though I was baking like a potato in the sun.
I was supposed to be working on my English assignment, but I hadn’t gotten farther than writing the date—May 13, 1955—at the top of my paper. I knew that was about all the farther I’d get, too, because I was supposed to write about Moby-Dick, and I didn’t even know who the guy was. I wasn’t really listening when Mrs. Carlton read us a chapter after recess for about a bajillion days in a row. I could see the book cover in my head, though, and it had a big fish on it, so I was thinking Moby-Dick might be that guy who got swallowed by a whale and became a rib bone in the story that Miss Tuckle, the Sunday school teacher, told us. But I wasn’t sure because I wasn’t exactly listening then, either.
“Isabella . . . your paper . . . ,” Mrs. Carlton said, and I turned away from the window.
“I can’t concentrate with all that yelling and laughing going on outside,” I told her.
“Try,” she said, without looking up.
“Plus,” I added, “I’m about melting to death. These windows are working like a magnifying glass. I’m not kidding. ...