Sara Pennypacker's funny, relatable tale of two misfit tweens and their transformative summer on a ruined church property in Florida will resonate with lots of young readers. Especially those with strong views about how things ought to be who are constantly being told that Here in the Real World things don't work that way. Very little in this tale goes exactly as the characters would wish, but it goes to some profoundly satisfying places and makes some great connections.
"'No, Jolene. We won't let it happen. You won't lose this garden.'
"'What are you talking about?'
"What was he talking about?
"Ware suddenly saw page eleven in his report. Number twelve seemed to be lit up. Thou shalt always be the champion of the Right and the Good, against Injustice.
"That's what he was talking about.
"This was Injustice, all right. He needed to be a champion of the Right and the Good.
"This was, in fact, the purpose that would drive his life, he was suddenly certain.
"He pulled himself up tall. 'I won't let it happen, Jolene. I will save your garden.'
"Jolene snorted. 'How are you going to do that?'
"'I don't know yet. But I will. You won't lose your garden. I pledge.'
"'Promise. I promise.'"