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Peeledby Joan Bauer
"Joan Bauer's mastery of writing characters again proves itself in Hildy, the strong female protagonist we've come to expect from the Newbery Honor-winning author, delighting me as she did in Hope Was Here and Rules of the Road." Sarah Miller, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Something's rotten in the heart of apple country!
Hildy Biddle dreams of being a journalist. A reporter for her high school newspaper, The Core, she's just waiting for a chance to prove herself. Not content to just cover school issues, Hildy's drawn to the town's big story — the haunted old Ludlow house. On the surface, Banesville, USA, seems like such a happy place, but lately, eerie happenings and ghostly sightings are making Hildy take a deeper look.
Her efforts to find out who is really haunting Banesville isn't making her popular, and she starts wondering if she's cut out to be a journalist after all. But she refuses to give up, because, hopefully, the truth will set a few ghosts free.
Peeled is classic Joan Bauer, featuring a strong heroine, and filled with her trademark witty dialogue, and problems and people worth standing up to.
"Bauer's (Hope Was Here) fans will appreciate this diverting novel's shout-out to the author's debut, Squashed, from which she also harvests a few themes. In an upstate New York hamlet known for its apples, aspiring teen journalist Hildy Biddle treasures her staff position on the high school paper, aptly named The Core. She does whatever it takes to find the facts for a story, hoping she is honoring the memory of her late father, a respected local reporter. But when the opportunistic publisher of the town paper whips the citizens into a frenzy with sensational stories of ghosts and eerie happenings, Hildy and her friends are determined to expose the truth — which involves a disreputable development company. With sharp pacing and an intriguing premise, Bauer renders a fully realized portrait of a small town dependent on an ever-fragile agricultural economy and threatened by modern encroachment. As always, she stocks her work with strong, sage women, the elements for a budding romance and plenty of funny moments. But it's Hildy readers will remember longest, a smart girl who realistically blends the spunkiness, brains and good humor that is Bauer's stock-in-trade. Ages 12 — up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Murder is a big word in a small town." So when a ghost — or somebody — starts dishing out mayhem in an economically distressed apple-growing community in upstate New York, the local news media are on the case. Strangely, though, while our high-school reporter heroine, Hildy, is all fired up with "a fierce desire to find the truth" about the peril emanating from a certain vacant farmhouse,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) the town rag appears equally fired up about feeding the frenzy. "Ludlow House Claims New Victim! ... Who's Next? ... Local Girl Traumatized!" It's not too much of a surprise when the ghostly goings-on are exposed as part of a developer's takeover bid, in which the town paper is implicated. What is surprising is the deftness with which Bauer wraps her moral — the higher mission of newspapers — inside a souffle-light and thoroughly entertaining murder mystery. Hildy worries at one point whether she's really cut out for journalism. "I had a hard time leaving my opinions out of what I was writing," she despairs. Bauer, though, has figured out how to make opinions palatable. Kids who've enjoyed Carl Hiaasen's opinionated satirical romps, "Hoot and Flush," should love "Peeled." Me, I'm planning to check out "Squashed," a 2001 Bauer title that supposedly tucks a rumination on teenage worries about weight inside a yarn about a pumpkin weigh-off. Elizabeth Ward can be reached at warde(at symbol)washpost.com. Reviewed by Elizabeth Ward, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)
"In a time when journalism too often flaunts sensationalism, Hildy and crew demonstrate ethics and determination in a story that is wonderfully teachable, highly readable, and ready to delight Bauer fans, old and new." VOYA
"Hildy's passion for reporting leaps off the page...and her crisp, declarative narration, subtly emulating a journalistic style, sings with tart humor and quixotic purpose." Horn Book Magazine
"[Q]uick-paced prose juicy with apple metaphors. A-peeling all around!" School Library Journal
"Bauer...make[s] this a pleasurable read that may encourage teens to consider deeper questions about family farms, urban sprawl, and the many who profit from public fear." Booklist
"In Hildy, Bauer introduces a feisty, funny teenage heroine who stays true to her mission and herself while learning the realities of reporting and the importance of sticking to the facts. Highly entertaining." Kirkus Reviews
High school newspaper reporter Hildy Biddle isn't content to just cover school issues. She's drawn to the town's big story — the haunted old Ludlow house. Hildy's efforts to find out who is really haunting the place isn't making her popular, and she starts wondering if she's cut out to be a journalist, after all.
Hildy Biddle wants something monumental to happen so she can finally prove herself to be more than a high school journalist. The problem? Her town?s biggest story stars a ghost, which is not an easy interview. But while the local paper is playing up people?s fears with shocking headlines of creepy happenings, Hildy is determined to discover what?s really going on. Unfortunately, her desire to uncover the truth is starting to cause a stir. With rumors swirling and tensions high, can Hildy push past all the hype and find out the real truth?
About the Author
Joan Bauer is the critically acclaimed author of numerous young adult novels, including Best Foot Forward, Rules of the Road (recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize) and Newbery Honor winner Hope Was Here. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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