Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review: The Teashop Girls

The Official Rules of the Teashop Girls

1. Teashop girls are best friends forever.

2. Tea is held every week, no matter what.

3. All tea and scones must be split equally at all times.

Annie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together -- at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna's too busy with theater, Zoe's always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what?

When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.

Fresh, honest, and sweet, Laura Schaefer's debut novel is sure to resonate with readers everywhere. -- A Paula Wiseman Book/Simon and Schuster

Some of you might know that I'm addicted to Twitter! I love "talking" with all my blogging friends and even meeting new ones. I also love that I can learn something new almost every day. I especially like it when I hear about a new must-read book like THE TEASHOP GIRLS by Laura Schaefer. This book came highly recommended, and I'm so very thankful I picked it up. I loved this book so much and Booking Daughter did too. In fact, she is desperately hoping that this book becomes a series!

THE TEASHOP GIRLS is geared towards ages 8-14, and I can't think of a young girl who wouldn't adore this book. The story is told from the point-of-view of Annie, an 8th grader who loves all things tea and has always wanted to work in her grandmother's tea shop. On her very first day, she discovers that her grandmother is having financial difficulties; and Annie decides that she is going to "save" the store with the help of her two best friends, Genna and Zoe.

I loved Annie! She was such a wonderful character and a terrific role model for young girls. She had all the traits you would want in a young woman -- honest, hardworking, conscientious, sensitive, loyal, ambitious, caring, etc. Her friends Genna and Zoe were also terrific characters. Both of these girls were Teashop Girls along with Annie, yet they were each dealing with their own set of parent problems. All of the girls learned important things about themselves in this novel that made them grow into better (and stronger) young women. I have no doubt that any young girl who reads this book will relate to at least one of these characters.

There is a great deal of humor in this novel that I also enjoyed. Annie has just enough quirkiness and insecurity around boys that was adorable. I also thought the author's portrayal of Annie's family was very funny (probably because it was so true.) Some of the scenes with Annie's classmate (and nemesis) Zach reminded me so much of some boys in my childhood. There are just so many scenes that I found positively adorable!

One thing I really appreciated about this book were the little extras that were thrown in -- they were so cute and added a lot to this book. At the end of each chapter, there was always something to look forward to such as recipes, old tea advertisements, stories written by Annie, and some of Genna's drawings. I found so many of these tidbits to be very interesting. I also thoroughly enjoyed all of the "Annie-isms" in this book. She was constantly making lists (something I can relate to) like: to-do lists, how to save the shop, and even reasons why she should be hired to work at the tea store. The author also included Annie's reports on Japanese tea ceremonies and the history of tea as well as a newspaper article that Annie wrote for the student paper.

I think THE TEASHOP GIRLS would be a wonderful selection for our mother-daughter book club. We just have to wait until it's our turn to host to select it. How adorable would it be to discuss this book over tea, cucumber sandwiches and some of the desserts mentioned in this book? If you think you (or a young girl in your life) might be interested in reading this book, you can read the first chapter here.

If my review isn't enough to convince you to read this wonderful book, then Booking Daughter 's thoughts definitely will:

I loved this book! It might be one of my favorite books ever, but it's definitely in the top three range. My mom told me that the author liked the Baby-Sitter Club series; and I love those books too. I always read them at school and nothing else because my teacher has lots and lots of them.

If I had to pick one thing to be my favorite part from this book is would be hard. It was all so great. But there are three things I really enjoyed about this book. First, I liked the friendship between Genna, Zoe and Annie. Even though the friendship changed throughout the story, you could never guess what was going to happen next. I also liked the way Annie cares for the tea shop. She really worked hard to save the tea shop. Finally, I liked the ending. It was nice the way everything worked out. I know you will enjoy this book.


bermudaonion said...

I saw all the tweets about this one on Twitter, too, and it sounds like everyone was right. Booking Daughter sure is a good writer! I would never have guessed that was written by someone her age. I'm anxious to read this book now.

Beth F said...

Excellent reviews (both of them). I really loved the book and I'm happy to hear that you two did too. It was charming without being sappy, and I don't think that's easy to do.

Chris said...

Nice to see comments from someone in the age group the book is for. Great job, Booking Daughter!

This sounds cute and I love the cover.

Jenn said...

Excellent reviews by both of you! I'm so impressed! I'm looking forward to seeing more reviews by Booking Daughter!

Karlie said...

I'm so glad Booking Daughter enjoys reading as much as her mom :)

nbbaker1102 said...

You convinced me. I'm adding it to my list.

Gwendolyn B. said...

No girls the right age in my family for this one, but it sounds so good, I'll have to check it out for myself, and then, in a few years, the next batch of nieces will be just the right age!

Jen said...

I love this dual review! And now I know I must read this book.

S. Krishna said...

I've heard good things about this book, and the review from Booking Daughter was an added bonus! Nice job!

bethany said...

you already know that I loved this book, LOVED THIS BOOK for all you who don't already know.

Both of your reviews are excellent. I didn't read the Babysitter Club books. It sounds like I am really missing out!

shelburns said...

Love your reviews - both of them! I thought I might like this one when I first saw it, and after hearing your thoughts, I know I will. Booking Daughter has convinced me that this is a title I need for my classroom.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. I've heard nothing but great things about it. It makes me wish that I had a daughter to share it with. I will definitely read it myself and then I can share it with my niece. I love tea and that's an added bonus for me. Thanks for a great review and booking daughters comments were well written and appreciated!

Jenny Girl said...

Both reviews are excellent. You are teaching your daughter well!

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I'm thrilled that I'll be reading this book soon. I've seen it around and then saw it at the library. After thumbing through it, I knew I wanted a copy for myself!