Monday, April 20, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: The Graham Cracker Plot

The Graham Cracker Plot by Shelley Tougas, September 2, 2014. 288 pages. Published by Roaring Brook Press. Source: publisher.
No one believes her, but Daisy Bauer knows her dad has been wrongfully imprisoned and that it's up to her to break him out of jail (aka Club Fed). She has a plan that she's calling the Graham Cracker Plot because it was all Graham's idea. She just needs a miniature horse, a getaway truck, and a penny from 1919—the idea coin.

This funny, nail-biter of a novel is about friendship and admitting you're wrong. Debut novelist Shelley Tougas balances humor and warmth against themes of family, broken trust, and unconditional love against all odds.
First Sentence:
I will tell you three things right now.

While I'm somewhat behind on writing my review for The Graham Cracker Plot-I blame an inability to coherently form my thoughts on it-I did want to share my thoughts on it. Even though I wound up enjoying this one I was left with mixed thoughts on it.

Overall, I really enjoyed the writing, characters, and plot of The Graham Cracker Plot. My problem came from the fact that this book was somewhat depressing as the story behind Daisy's father's jailing came to light. It really just broke my heart reading about that and how what she learned changed the way she viewed her father. What really made it sad was that it was an element to the book that caught me off guard. I really wasn't expecting to be hit with something that heavy while I was reading this one, I was more prepared for a light caper. Even so, this unexpected element was so well done that I cannot truly find fault with it.

Unexpected heaviness aside, what I really enjoyed about The Graham Cracker Plot would have to be the characterization. I just could not hep but enjoy watching Daisy's story unfold. Sure, it made me sad and mad at times, but the way she came to understand the truth of why her father was not there was so good. As difficult as everything was that Daisy faced, I found everything to be well written-from her plans to free the Chemist to the evolution of her feelings after she learns the truth.

So, while I enjoyed the overall plot-line and the characterization, it was Shelley Tougas' writing that really made it all come together. I thought she did one amazing job of bringing every thing together into one whole. While there were definitely some heart-wrenching moments throughout the book, it was the lightness of the plotting balanced with the seriousness that really made this a interesting book.
 I guess you could say that I enjoyed the two polarizing sides of this book. On the lighter side, I liked reading about Daisy and Graham as they put into action the plans they made to break the Chemist out and escape to Canada. It was quite funny to see how much effort they put into it, as well as how close they got, even though they left quite a few things unplanned. On the more serious side, my heart just broke as the truth started to come to the surface; and, when Daisy learned the truth my heart was crushed for her.

Final Verdict: The Graham Cracker Plot- One outrageous caper, two kids, laughter and heartbreak...yeah, this one pulled me and kept me coming back for more.

The Graham Cracker Plot earns

this book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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