Thursday, February 28, 2019

Review: The Becket List by Adele Griffin

A Blackberry Farm Story
by Adele Griffin
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Algonquin Young Readers
Middle Grade 
208 pages

APRIL 2nd, 2019!!!

Adventure and discover with the bold and intrepid Becket Branch when her family’s move from city to a country farm means big changes!

Everything is changing for Becket Branch. From subways to sidewalks to safety rules, Becket is a city kid born and raised. Now the Branch family is trading urban bustle for big green fields and moving to Gran’s farm, where Becket has to make sense of new routines from feeding animals to baling hay. And as much as Becket loves to yell “Beautiful Alert!” there’s a lot about the countryside that is just plain odd.

But Becket is ready to put her own spin on country life. Whether selling her mouth-puckering lemonade, feeding hostile hens, or trying to make a best friend of her new neighbor Frieda Franca, Becket is determined to use her city smarts to get a grip on farm living. Laugh and learn with Becket as she mucks through the messy, exuberant human experience of change she didn’t ask for, in a story that sparkles with quirky characters and lasting connections.


Life on a farm flips into a whole new light with never ending energy and silly insights.

Rebecca's family is leaving the city apartment and heading out to a farm, and she's got the perfect list on the amazement of farm life. So far, her list only has one item, leave the city. But changing her name to something more farm fitting only begins her increasing list. Now know as Becket, she's ready to become the true farm girl with so much enthusiasm that it leaks off the pages as she explores what life in the country really is like.

Becket is a ball of energy pure. Everything she does, even eating dinner with her family, turns into excitement with a twist of thoughts, which border on ridiculousness without ever stepping over the line. The story, while an easy read, holds a very quick pace thanks to her bubbliness. As to real adventure in the traditional sense, there isn't much beyond every day life and situations. But it's exactly these moments that portray life in the country, which Becket molds with a sense of excitement and exploration.

The authors manage to bring across a fairly real impression of what life on the farm is like, something city kids will find intriguing. Still, the simpleness of this life (or not always as simple as it appears with Becket) is exactly the adventure in these pages. It's Becket's rambling, constant, can't-be-turned-off enthusiasm which makes this a fun read, one that even more reluctant readers will be willing to grab up.

And here she is...

Adele Griffin
 is the acclaimed author of Tell Me No Lies and Be True to Me, as well as Sons of Liberty and Where I Want to Be, both finalists for the National Book Award. She lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her online at or on Twitter: @adelegriffin.

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