Sunday, March 06, 2005

Virtual Vacation

Melanie Martin Goes Dutch : The Private Diary of My Almost Bummer Summer with Cecily, Matt the Brat, and Vincent Van Go Go Go, 2002

The Diary of Melanie Martin : or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza
, 2000

With Love from Spain, Melanie Martin
, 2004

It is spring break here and that makes me think travel. Sadly, a dream trip to Oxford for a certain literary festival is not going to happen so I will content myself with a virtual trip abroad.

The Melanie Martin Diaries
by Carol Weston sweep the reader off to The Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Melanie keeps a journal of her family vacations and chronicles the highs and lows of family trips. Weston has an ear for middle school voices. Melanie is at once protective and annoyed by her younger brother, Matt the Brat. She is intrigued and bored by art museums; hungry for and alarmed by the "exotic" foods they try in restaurants. The reader "hears" the language (complete with pronunciation) smells the food and sees the sights through Melanie's eyes.

The story and reading levels make the books accessible to a wide range of young readers. I am happy to see my girl is back in the newly released, Melanie in Manhattan, 2005.

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