Sunday, April 17, 2011

Annie's Adventures

Annie's Adventures
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
with Greg Logsted and Jackie Logsted
Sisters Eight, book one

A rather large problem has befallen the Huit girls. (Sisters, actually. Octuplets to be exact.) One particular New Year’s Eve, the girls wait for their mommy to bring them hot chocolate and their daddy to return with more wood for the fire. But they don’t. Mommy and Daddy, that is.

They’re gone. Poof! Maybe dead—no one knows for sure. You must see the problem here. Eight little girls on their own, no mommy or daddy to take care of them. This is not a good thing. So now these little girls, must take care of themselves. Get to school, cook the meals, feed the cats (eight of them, too), and pay the bills. They can’t ask for help, oh no. Any self-respecting adult would surely call in social services, and those well-meaning people would have to split them up. After losing their parents, being split up would be completely unbearable.

At the same time, the question remains: What happened to Mommy and Daddy? The Sisters Eight (as they are called, affectionately and otherwise) are determined to find out. Luckily, they do seem to have someone or something helping them. Notes keep appearing behind a loose brick in the fireplace.

It’s a good old-fashioned mystery with missing (or dead) parents, nosy neighbors, talking refrigerators, foul-smelling fruitcake (is there any other kind?), and even a little magic. Eight little girls, eight cats, and one big mystery—let the fun begin!

This was a very cute start to a fun, short series. The tone of the narrators, the Sisters Eight, often referring to themselves as we, etc., was very similar to the tone of Lemony Snicket. I loved it.

At first, I was worried that the whole missing parents premise would be totally unrealistic, and to an extent it is, but the Logsteds make it work. The mother, an inventor, left the Sisters Eight with plenty of things to make their lives work without adults. The local mechanic is sympathetic to their plight and helps them out on occasion. I can't wait to see how they continue to get along as time passes.

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