She expected blueberries and lobster; she found Zora!


Reena (12) narrates the story of her family's new life. Her parents had recently lost their jobs and decided it was time to leave the big city. When Reena suggested "Maine," her parents were all in. Expecting blueberries and lobsters and all those Maine-y things, Reena was excited, too. She wasn't expecting that she and little brother Luke (7) would be "volunteered" to help elderly neighbor Mrs. Falala. Mrs. Falala has pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna, and a proud and stubborn cow called Zora. At first, Zora repulses Reena, but in watching - and with the help of - Beat and Zep, she begins to understand cows a little more. Even so, Reena wasn't sure which was the bigger challenge: meeting Mrs. Falala's expectations or getting Zora to listen. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (14):
As the story moves along, the reader can see how relationships grow and strengthen between the children, Mrs. Falala, and her animals (especially Zora). This book is an easy read. The author uses a free-flowing form of poetry that goes along the page, such as stretching out the words or trailing them down the page. This style of writing is perfect for young readers and for those who aren’t familiar with poetry.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
I flew through it and finished it within 2 hours. I couldn’t put it down and was satisfied with how it ended. With the font and content in this book, I would recommend it for preteens and younger readers. 

Parent Perspective:
Beware! This is a well-paced story that doesn't want to let go of your heart. Reena and Luke are endearing characters; and we all have had a Mrs. Falala and Zora in our lives. It is also refreshing to have parental characters whose actions (despite the impulsive move to Maine) are realistic. Moo is poignant, humorous, and well worth having on your shelf. In parts it reads like a novel in verse, with plenty of white space and fun use of fonts to encourage reluctant readers.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Engaging characters and humor combine to create an uplifting, enjoyable story. This is a delightful book for young readers, and adults too!

Content Awareness Factors:


Type of Book:
This wholesome coming of age story told in Reena's voice offers humor, life lessons, and joy. It has potential as a high interest / low readability book.
Educational Themes:

This is a book meant to be read for fun. As a read aloud, there are several places where you can pause and ask your audience "what's next" or "what would you do?" Mrs. Falala is from a different time (for today's kids) and it may be enlightening to ask kids to see the world from her shoes.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
10 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
8 to 13
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer ages: 14 and 15
Purchase Recommendation:
Definitely borrow! This would make a nice gift for a soon-to-be teenager or teachers who love read-alouds in their classroom.

Title Moo: A Novel
Author Sharon Creech
Publisher Harpercollins Childrens Books, a Division of HarperCollins Publishing © 2016
ISBN 9780062415240
Material Hard Cover
Cost $16.99
Genres Family, Friendship, Life Lessons
be the star you are
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