Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan


I wanted to like this book so much….I did like it, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I hoped it would be…

Stephanie Tolan- writes of an uncommon family- full of highly gifted individuals.  E.D (named after Edith Wharton) is a likeable teenager- who struggles with perfectionism.  She valiantly overcomes her dislike of the rebel delinquent teen -Jake Semple – who is thrust into their eclectic homeschooling idyll.

The cast of unusual characters rally together to put on a highly original version of The Sound of Music in their families barn.  Aimed at middle grade readers- this book felt tired to me.  However, I did love the youngest brother, Destiny – his loveable antics were laugh out loud funny- especially his irreverent use of Grape Kool Aid.

This book was written in 2002 and won numerous awards including:

ALA Notable Children’s Book

ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults

ALA Booklist Editors’ Choice

New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age

Book Links Lasting Connection

Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Masterlist (Vermont)

ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

New York Public Library’s “One Hundred Titles for Reading and Sharing”

School Library Journal Best Book

Newbery Honor Book

Mark Twain Award nominee (Missouri)

Kentucky Bluegrass Awardurl


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