November 2010 Indie Next List
“Snyder delights in showing us bright, curious kids making sense of the often-senseless world. Young Penny Grey is living a boring, controlled, and stifling life in the city when she makes a wish that something interesting would happen, 'just like in a book.' Her wish comes true when her impractical father quits his job to write a novel, plunging the family into poverty. This is a deeply human story about the importance of community and friendship, and it reminds us that a large and steady income is not essential for a strong and happy family life. Simply wonderful!”
— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC
The perfect book for girls and boys who look to find adventure and magic in surprising places!
What if you were really bored with your life? What would you wish for?
Penelope Grey wishes for something—anything!—interesting to happen, and here’s what she gets:
• Her father quits his job.
• Her family runs out of money.
• Her home becomes a pit of despair.
So Penelope makes another wish, and this time the Greys inherit a ramshackle old house in the middle of nowhere. Off they go, leaving the city and their problems behind them. Their new home is full of artists, tiny lions, unusual feasts, and true friends. Almost immediately, their lives are transformed. Penelope’s mother finds an unexpected job, her father discovers a hidden talent, and Penelope changes her name!
Penny’s new life feels too magical to be real, too real to be magic. And it may be too good to last . . . unless she can find a way to make magic work just one more time—if it even was magic.
Any Which Wall author Laurel Snyder introduces a quirky cast of characters as pleasantly strange as they are deeply real. Abigail Halpin adds to the charm with her distinctive line drawings.
Fans of Polly Horvath’s My One Hundred Adventures, Ingrid Law’s Savvy, and Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks will be enchanted by Laurel Snyder’s alternatively humorous and poignant look at small-town life and what it really takes to become a happy family.
About the Author
Laurel Snyder is the author of many books for kids, including Penny Dreadful, Any Which Wall, and Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. A native of Baltimore, she now resides happily in Atlanta with her husband, Chris; their two small sons; and a cat and dog who get along admirably because they are exactly the same size. Laurel has recently begun a collection of vintage bread boxes.
Abigail Halpin is the talented illustrator of several chapter books including Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, 2009), cover artwork for Emma Jean Lazarus Fell In Love (Puffin Books, 2010), The Melancholic Mermaid (Simply Read Books, 2010), Penny Dreadful (Random House, 2010) and The Grand Plan to Fix Everything (Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, Spring 2011). Both illustrator and graphic designer, she lives in New England, a stone's throw from the Maine coastline. See her artwork at: http: //www.theodesign.com/.