Saturday, June 18, 2011

Turkey Monster Thanksgiving

I recently had the opportunity to read Turkey Monster Thanksgiving by Anne Warren Smith.  This book is aimed at 3rd through 6th graders and will be available in stores and online on September 1, 2011 for the first time in paperback. 

A little about the book: 

Nine-year-old Katie Jordan lives with her dad and three-year-old brother. This year, instead of celebrating Thanksgiving in their traditional way by eating pizza in their pajamas, Katie wants to create the perfect holiday and be just like a "real" family. But by Thanksgiving Day, Katie has invited guests Dad didn't expect, festooned the house with what may be poison oak, set the sweet potatoes on fire, and forced her little brother to face a dreadful turkey monster by himself. At the end, however, Katie, her family, and her guests sit down to a most unusual dinner—one that succeeds because it comes more from the heart than from fancy decorations and elaborate menus.

What I thought:

This book was not exactly what I expected.  Certain parts of the story line, although are applicable to all families, I think I would want to shelter my 3rd grader from for a little longer.  The main character, Katie, lives with her single dad and her toddler brother.  Seems that Katie's mom has left her children and husband to chase her dream of being a famous country singer.  Katie's friend and "competition" across the street lives with her dad as well; her mom died.  Whew - I know that the world is a hard place and these type of situations happen every day in every walk of life - just not something I want my kids reading about, yet.  My entering 5th grader?  Yes, I think he could handle that part of the story line a little better than my younger one. 

The story itself?  Engaging.  Deals with friendship, competition, the importance of family traditions (no matter what they are) and loving your family for who they are, not who you want them to be  in a way that children can relate.  Various scenes of the book are laugh out loud funny.  If you do want your younger child to read it, I would read it aloud with them so that you can discuss parts of the story they may not easily identify with and for a little reassurance too with regard to death and divorce/abandonment. 

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via  I was asked only to give my honest opinion of the book which I am pleased to do.  I received no compensation for this review. 

1 comment:

Heather said...

Wow, I really appreciate your age warning on the content in this book. So often we focus on explicit or vulgar language or violence, but age-appropriate content can encompass so much more. If a child has not been exposed to abandonment and death, I can definitely see where it could be too much too soon. Great review!