Amusingly, this book was my choice for my new book club (which consists of me and one other person.) I say amusingly because it is a very young YA and how weird that I didn’t even realize it’s YA! I chose it because it was on my to-read list as it turns out that the author is the daughter of the college roommate of the woman I used to nanny for in college.
Melissa and I agreed that if we were in sixth grade we would adore this book and admire the main character and want to be like her. Lucy lives with her mother and grandmother and everyone is involved in the family business- a pharmacy. Unfortunately the pharmacy has not been doing well and it seems likely that they might lose not only the business, but also their home. Lucy is determined not to let that happen (and seems to be the only one who actually tries to do anything to save it.) When she sees that a grant for “green” businesses is available she secretly applies for it. She is sure that the pharmacy could be updated to include an “eco-spa”. She makes changes herself too-creating a “relaxation room” for customers (after actually identifying a need and finding a solution-something that, again, the twelve year old did but the adults couldn’t be bothered to do) and turning her love of makeup into her own small business of providing makeup applications for special events. Their is the slightest hint of romance and changing adolescent feelings when Lucy’s best friend develops a crush on someone. Lucy hasn’t yet experienced that and her reactions are very realistic. The happy ending you expect is delivered and it is very satisfying.
Professionally speaking this would be a very good book to offer fifth and sixth grade girls. Sometimes I think it’s hard to find a good novel that really hits this age group just right–it offers a little bit of grownup-ness, but not much. Lucy and Sunni develop crushes that they don’t want to go any further than that-just a crush from afar and some weird feelings to deal with. Lucy loves makeup, but doesn’t want to look tarted up. It’s all very wholesome, but realistic.