Saturday, August 2, 2008

Joan Bauer. PEELED

PEELED is the latest in a long line of awesome books by Joan Bauer. Hildy Biddle lives in a small orchard town in upstate New York called Banesville. She’s a reporter for the high school newspaper and waiting for the chance to prove herself as a real reporter when a mystery begins unfolding. Strange occurrences begin at the supposedly haunted Ludlow house. At first there were threatening signs posted on the front door, but when a man is found dead on the property, the community is frightened. People are afraid the ghosts in the Ludlow house are stirring and out to get them. The local newspaper in town does its best to work everyone up into a panic. They publish articles with witnesses declaring how they’ve been scared by the ghosts. Hildy and her friends at the school paper begin their own investigation. They feel like they have to combat their town paper, since it’s been acting more like the National Enquirer, than a real paper. But, as they get closer to the truth, they are being threatened by those who want to keep the truth hidden. Will they have the courage to keep fighting for the truth?
I loved being in Hildy’s world. I love being in a place so completely different from my own. The nickname of the town is Happy Apple Town, which is the best way to describe the atmosphere of this book. It felt so comfortable and simple. But not simplistic. It was fun to learn about the world of apple orchards while also solving a mystery with Hildy. The characters are well-developed, realistic and quirky. Along with the spunky Hildy, I enjoyed Zach and his scientific view on life and Elizabeth’s positive outlook. The adults were great too. Minska, a woman who lived through the revolution in Poland and Baker, a successful reporter, were both inspirations for Hildy and her friends. Definitely a fun and inspiring read. It makes me want to go uncover an injustice somewhere!

Other great ones by Joan Bauer (trust me, Ms. Bauer does not disappoint)

Her website is here