Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan by Cynthia Rylant

Warning! This post contains many personal opinions irrationally related to my love for a book when I was ten and is not objective in the least...

Goodreads Synopsis:

Stumpy the Squirrel and friends team up to save the day in this charming standalone companion to the beloved Gooseberry Park, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Arthur Howard.

There has been no rain for months, and all of the animals in Gooseberry Park are in danger. Can the gang of dear friends come up with a brilliant solution in time to save the day? Absolutely!


In my review of Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins, I mentioned my favorite childhood book, Gooseberry Park. In it, I also mentioned that a sequel had recently been released and that I was looking quite forward to reading and reviewing it. I take that back. Originally, I was going to post this as a "Tweens Read Thursdays," but after reading it, did not feel like it fit with the tween age group. 

I gave this book the most scathing review I have ever publicly posted on Goodreads, because I was so severely disappointed in this book; however, I will attempt to be more objective here. My first issue with the book is that Gooseberry Park is a middle grade novel. It's so called sequel (okay, so that wasn't very objective..) is an early chapter book, comparable in level to Magic Tree House books. 

Secondly, the plot is thin and sometimes attempts to imitate the first book too closely. The charm of Gooseberry Park is almost completely and utterly lacking. Third, my beloved characters are slightly obnoxious. (What did they do to you, Murray?)  Finally, this is not a story, it is a new age/eastern mysticism/you can do it sermon thinly veiled as a story. (Nevermind. I don't truly want to try being objective about this horrid book). I probably should not say anymore. My ten year old self is crushed and is refusing to be objective. Moral of the story? Read Gooseberry Park. Love it. Cherish it. Read it over and over again. Forget that Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan ever existed. 

Or, go read a review by someone else who didn't have unrealistically high hopes for this sequel...


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