Penelope Crumb is back with the same spunk and quirky narration that won readers over in her eponymous debut (2012).
Still struggling with the reality that her dad is Graveyard Dead, Penelope must also contend with a rival for her best friend Patsy Cline’s attention. New on the scene is perpetually-in-pink Vera Bogg, who wants to be Patsy’s new BFF. When Penelope realizes that Patsy might actually prefer being Vera’s best friend instead of hers, she finds herself coping with another potential loss. Grandpa Felix, dealing with some changes in his own life, dispenses wisdom such as “Nothing is forever” and “Sometimes you just have to let go.” Inspired by a school field trip and fueled by her need to hold onto some part of all the people she loves, Penelope empties out her closet and makes it into her “Ultra Museum of Forget-Me-Notters.” Kids will completely understand the odd items she chooses to include: her lost teeth (some with blood still on them!), strands of Patsy Cline’s hair, her dad’s shoehorn, her mother’s self-portrait, her brother’s drawings and Grandpa Felix’s beloved camera, Alfred. Unfortunately her good intentions are misinterpreted as thefts or worse. But Penelope stays true to herself and learns how to fix what she can while adjusting her expectations for the future.
Readers will root for and relate to this fresh-voiced young heroine who joins the likes of Ramona, Judy Moody and Clementine. (Fiction. 7-10)