Posted on August 29th, 2016 by pajamapress
Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown is the second in the Evie Brooks series by Sheila Agnew. In the first book, Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan, Evie leaves Ireland to live with her uncle, Scott, after her mother dies. In the sequel, while Evie is still adjusting to living in New York, her father (whom she has never met), sues Scott for custody. The court case looms in the background as Evie embarks on more Manhattan adventures. She accompanies Scott, who is a vet, to the Central Park Zoo, where he has some challenging patients, including a pregnant alpaca and an ailing red panda. At school she is chided for not talking like an American, and she starts failing math. She’s attracted to two boys—the very charming Loucan, an almost-boyfriend with two pretentious dads—and the very compelling Finn, who treats her like a little sister. As she negotiates her way through school, friends and animal emergencies, the fear of being taken away from Scott in the custody battle gradually takes over her life, and she must call on all her resources to fight for what she wants.
This is a funny, engaging book that celebrates the quirky splendour of life in New York as seen through the eyes of a very smart thirteen-year-old….
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Posted on October 30th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Although it opens with yet another dead mother, Evie Brooks Is Maroonedin Manhattan is a fresh take on the duck out of water trope. Evie finds herself living in Manhattan with her uncle, a veterinarian—about as far from her late mother’s bohemian life in Dublin as Evie can imagine. After a few funky days, Evie starts lending a hand with the animals, making friends, discovering the city, plotting against Uncle Scott’s scheming girlfriend, and learning how to cope with grief that sometimes leaves her breathless and afraid. This is a quick-moving novel, and Evie is by turns smart, cheeky, stubborn, and introspective—a highly identifiable and likeable lead character, even when the characters who surround her are somewhat less rounded.
Evie’s narrative voice is appealing but distinctive. The author plays with differences in accents, diction, and cultural views, but rarely allows Evie to become a cliché or a type. The novel is finely managed for the middle-grade reader, with hints of concerns more typical of YA novels though the book’s roots remain in childhood…”
Posted on October 1st, 2015 by pajamapress
“Evie Brooks, 12, is at a crossroads: her mother, who was an American, has died, and her mother’s brother Scott insists that she should leave her home in Dublin, Ireland, and live with him in New York City. Evie wants to stay in Ireland with her mum’s friend, but she agrees to try New York for the summer. Uncle Scott is a vet, and the tween spends her days helping out at his clinic, making some new friends, and learning what Scott’s snooty girlfriend thinks of his new charge, which is not much. By the end of the summer, Evie has decided to stay after all, a predictable outcome—not so predictable, however, is a final twist that paves the way for a sequel. VERDICT An enjoyable, light read that will particularly draw in animal lovers, who will learn a lot about animal care from Evie’s work with Uncle Scott.”
Posted on September 8th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Twelve-year-old Evie’s mother has died, giving custody of Evie to an uncle she barely knows in New York City. Evie is loathe to leave her home in Dublin, so she and Uncle Scott strike a bargain that Evie will spend the summer in New York and then decide if she wants to stay or return to Ireland to live with her godmother. This hook, along with a prologue that finds Evie stuck in a building’s trash chute after escaping a security guard, lend structure to an otherwise delightfully anecdotal plot that shifts between Evie’s adjustment to Manhattan (including her helping out at her uncle’s veterinary practice and her crush on an older boy) and flashbacks to her life in Ireland.
Newcomer Agnew gives Evie an engaging balance of sarcasm, vulnerability, and humour, and the story’s secondary characters are equally well-developed and entertaining….The cliffhanger ends the story on a gripping note, but readers would be clamoring for another Evie book even without one.”
Posted on August 11th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan, by Sheila Agnew, is the story of a 12-year-old girl living in Ireland who is orphaned when her mother dies (her father having been out of the picture for many years) and who reluctantly agrees to spend the summer with her uncle, Scott, as long as she can return to Ireland in the fall to live with her godmother.
Scott, a veterinarian in Manhattan, is dating Leela, a divorce attorney Evie describes as “beyond painful,” who does her best to get the girl out of Scott’s life…
Throughout this story, the animals that move through Scott’s workday turn out to be the creatures that help Evie cope with her mother’s passing…”
Click here to read the full review **SPOILERS**