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Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains

Review

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains

Lucy lives in the distant land of Bewilderness, in a village called Thistle. She helps her father and sister in their dairy farm, and spends her free time roaming the countryside with her best friend, Wynston. And she loves to sing. Lucy even cleverly makes up her own songs to fit the situation, often giving her courage or lifting her spirits. Her favorite song is about the goat herders up on the Scratchy Mountains. She learned it from her mother, and it's the only thing she remembers of her. Her mother disappeared when she was just two years old. Anytime somebody mentions her mother's name, her father gets sad, so Lucy and her sister never ask any questions. Their mother's disappearance is a mystery.

When Wynston turns 12, his father, the king, decides that it's time for him to start seriously studying and practicing his prince duties, including searching for a princess. Wynston doesn't understand why he has to follow such silly rules; he would much rather hang out with Lucy. Lucy doesn't understand either; her feelings suffer a bruising when Wynston misses one of their berry-picking parties. So since he doesn't seem to need her anymore, Lucy decides to take off on an adventure of her own --- she's going to climb the Scratchy Mountains to solve the mystery of her missing mother.

Lucy packs a sack with a few essentials and sets out on her quest. On her way out the lane, she decides to take along Rosebud, the cow, to teach her a lesson on appreciating her own bovine ma. Of course, after Wynston hears that Lucy has left, he tears after her to help, as best friends should. Neither has any idea of the adventures in which they are about to partake, like the river that flows up the mountain, or the unusual individuals they will encounter, like the adorable little prairie dog and the round fellow stuck head first in a huge cauldron.

Laurel Snyder has created a real winner for her second published book, the first being a picture book called INSIDE THE SLIDY DINER. She writes with an extraordinary enthusiasm and infectious energy that invites her audience to step into her fun story and stretch the boundaries of the imagination. Her characters come alive with personality, especially the spunky and animated Lucy, and her more sensible prince of a best friend. Snyder also rewards readers with colorful, lively and vivid descriptions, so they can tag along on the adventure right next to Lucy and Wynston.

UP AND DOWN THE SCRATCHY MOUNTAINS is a fun and charming story that will touch your heart.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on January 12, 2010

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains
by Laurel Snyder

  • Publication Date: January 12, 2010
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling
  • ISBN-10: 0375847200
  • ISBN-13: 9780375847202