Friday, September 28, 2007

Main Street: Welcome to Camden Falls by Ann M. Martin

I just finished reading the first book in Ann M. Martin's new Main Street series, Welcome to Camden Falls.

Michael laughed at me when he saw me checking this book out from the library. He knows that I read young adult and children's books from time to time -- in fact, some, such as Tuck Everlasting and The Giver, happen to be among my favorites -- but he said the cover of this particular book just looks so much like a kid's book.

I did read it, though, and I enjoyed it immensely. In some ways, it is very refreshing to see (and read) a children's series book that's not either about a fantasy world or teen drama (the Sweet Valley High series comes to mind). Instead, this book is an honest and sensitive portrayal of two girls, recently orphaned, who have been transplanted to their grandmother's small hometown.

I found out about Main Street through this story on NPR. Ann M. Martin is the author of The Babysitters' Club, a tween series that dates back to my own childhood. In fact, when I was diagnosed as diabetic, practically all I knew about the condition was from The Babysitters' Club. (Unfortunately, that information was also rather outdated, so for the first few days of my hospital visit I thought I'd never be able to eat ice cream again!)

Personally, I think Ms. Martin has outdone herself with Main Street. The characters and the story are much more enduring than those in The Babysitters' Club. In addition, I think the idea of writing a story about small town life -- and not only that, but small town life as seen through the eyes of two "city" girls -- is very appealing. I will probably be reading more of these as they come out!

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