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The Boy on Cinnamon Street

The Boy on Cinnamon Street is a middlegrade contemporary fiction novel by Phoebe Stone.

Seventh grader Louise Terrace would much rather you call her Thumbelina. After all, she’s small enough at 4 foot 7.

And her name’s not the only thing she’s changed about herself. She’s quit gymnastics, which she used to be obsessed with. She’s got only two friends, but they’re the best friends ever.

And she has a secret admirer.

Small, but thrilling, notes start showing up. A pink chalk heart is drawn outside her apartment. And her friend Reni is convinced that it’s Benny, a cute pizza boy. But how come it’s not going anywhere? She has the hardest time trying to “run into him” or talk to him.

It seems like nothing in Louise’s life ever works out.

And deep down she’s still being held back by a moment two years ago… A time she still can’t remember. A time her life changed.

A time on Cinnamon Street…

I had a bit of a hard time getting into the disjointed narrative voice of Louise. But I did start to finally warm to the infectious, innocent excitement of being noticed and liked, and experiencing a first crush. Yet I still wasn’t fully head over heels for The Boy on Cinnamon Street.

Louise’s blocked memory is intriguing and poignant, but her lack of recognizing the obvious when it comes to her secret admirer frustrated me. So, I was kind of ping-ponging with my feelings about the main character, which always makes it difficult for me to fully invest.

But once the sad, heartbreaking revelation is made known, the depth is really brought to The Boy on Cinnamon Street. And with the Hollywood ending that can’t help but make you smile; I was undeniably touched with the sweet end, provided by a good-natured author that is promoting healing in the face of tragedy.

I can’t say that I loved it, but the ending certainly helped. Either way, it was a fast, nice read!

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