Sharon Creech just might be one of my favorite authors. Her novels fall mainly into the middle-grade category, but everybody can and should read them.
It’s been a while since Mrs. Creech has published a book, so I was very excited when I heard about Moo. When I finally picked up the book from the library, I immediately dug into it, despite the many other mandatory readings I have lined up.
Since I just finished reading Moo (I mean, I literally just finished reading the last page), my feelings haven’t had much time to percolate. Perhaps I’ll come to the realization that this novel held some fantastic meaning, but as of right now, I’m not so sure that I absolutely loved it.
Moo tells of a city girl named Reena who moves to Maine with her family. Reena somehow manages to get herself and her brother Luke into trouble with an eccentric old lady named Mrs. Falala who is the owner of many animals including a snake named Edna and a pig named Paulie. The most important animal is Zora, Mrs. Falala’s cow. To pay Mrs. Falala back for the inconvenience the two caused, Reena and Luke must care for Zora and eventually show her in a fair.
Okay, so the story sounds really nice, right? And it was really nice. The book succeeded in transporting me directly into Reena’s mind and I enjoyed the descriptions of the town in which they lived. I loved Reena, Luke, and Zora by the end of the book, and had warmed to Mrs. Falala. But there was something missing in this story – something Mrs. Creech usually manages to fit into each of her good novels. I’m not a hundred percent sure how to pinpoint that missing component, but I felt it. Again, I’ve only just finished reading the book, so I haven’t come up with a fully articulate description. I guess I’ll settle with this: Moo was kind of lacking excitement. The story wasn’t bad – it was really interesting, but it was lacking that push for me to continue reading. I mean, at one point I was able to put it down for a couple of days and unfortunately, I almost forgot I still had it at home.
Despite the fact that this novel was wanting of excitement, it was still wonderful to read. Sharon Creech’s sentences are very short and to the point, and all the characters are quite likeable.
Moo was a “Book Case” kind of novel. It’s great for rainy days and airplanes and exudes a sort of coziness. I’m not sure if I’m dying to add Moo to my collection this instant, but if I find at one of my favorite stores (Half Price Books!) you’ll see me taking it to the checkout counter.
If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about when I say that this novel was a “Book Case” book, check out the chart below. It’s a little dotty, I’ll acknowledge that. But honestly, this is how I think of books sometimes!
Anyway, I encourage you all to pick up Moo and sit down with it. It’s a pretty fast read (the type is big) and very relaxing.