Applewhites at Wit’s End: Book Review

September 21st, 2014 by

applewhites-at-wits-endA few weeks ago, I posted a review for a book by Ann M. Martin that plants you firmly and happily in the summer. Well, I guess I must be trying to hold onto that feeling because I just read another summer book!

Applewhites at Wit’s End by Stephanie S. Tolan is the sequel to Surviving the Applewhites. If you’ve read the first book, then you know that the Applewhites are an eccentric family of artists living out in the country where they can do their furniture design, sculpture, writing, dancing, acting, directing, and singing without being bothered by anyone else. They are a bold and colorful group, not to be contained by anyone else’s rules.

In the first book, they get a new addition: Jake, a juvenile delinquent who isn’t very happy to be there. And E.D., the only non-artist in the family is less than thrilled with his presence too. But as you can guess, Jake finds a way to fit in by the end of the story. I won’t tell you how because you should read the book yourself!

But even if you don’t read Surviving the Applewhites, you can still read Applewhites at Wit’s End. Jake’s integration into the family is no longer an issue; now the whole Applewhite clan has a real problem: After their accountant steals all of their money, their way of life is in danger!

surviving-the-applewhitesNo one wants to sell the house and land and move to the suburbs (yuck), so they come up with a risky plan to open up a summer camp for artistic kids.

What happens when two of the campers won’t stop fighting with each other, one of the campers regularly threatens to leave, and all of the campers stage a protest over living conditions and the camp schedule? Not to mention, a mysterious man in a mysterious black car keeps showing up and then racing away…

The Applewhites have a challenge on their hands, but if anyone can find a creative solution to overcome any obstacle, it’s this family of artists. And especially with E.D. and Jake on the case, no mysterious man or any other force (human or supernatural) is going to stop this camp from finishing out the summer.

I recommend this book if you are longing for a summer story, or even if you’re not. Any time of year, you’ll find yourself drawn into the lively antics of this big, crazy family. I just wish I could visit them in real life!

Have you read this book or Surviving the Applewhites? Leave a comment and let me know! Or just tell us about any of your own artistic talents!

— Karen

Karen used to tap dance and play the piano when she was a kid. She’s pretty much forgotten the piano, but she still likes to do Buffalo steps around her apartment sometimes!

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Kidsmomo Podcast #11: “All in the Family”

November 10th, 2009 by

If you thought your family was kooky, just tune in to our latest podcast, all about books starring wacky families. Food on the walls, a house run like a factory, a severed hand, a forgotten child — we won’t even tell you which of these are from our book picks and which are related to Nancy and Karen’s own crazy family stories! You’ll just have to listen to find out!

    Download the MP3 (14 MB)

  • From the antics of Fudge to the adventures of Nut and Stinky Cheese — aka our mystery book revealed
  • Our Wacky Family book picks (Surviving the Applewhites and Cheaper by the Dozen)
  • Stories of our own WACKY families — forgotten children and mannequin hands… seriously…

And when you’re done listening, don’t forget: our next theme is foreign lands (aka books that take place in other countries)! So watch our latest Mystery Book Theater video and check out these books about foreign lands that will transport you to other countries even without a passport.)

— Nancy and Karen