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Squashed by Joan Bauer
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Squashed

by Joan Bauer

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Ellie is determined to grow the largest pumpkin in her town and finally win the contest at the fair. Not only will she finally beat her competition, but she might have a chance with the guy she's interested in.

Small town life, friendship, giant pumpkins, and a touch of romance add to the fun of this novel by award winning author.

Here are some lesson links I put together for this book - http://www.teachingseeds.org/1/post/2014/01/squashed-by-joan-bauer.html ( )
  TeachingSeeds | Mar 16, 2014 |
Sixteen year-old Ellie has spent months growing a super-sized pumpkin she calls Max. Every year the prize for biggest pumpkin goes to the town oaf, Cyril, who rubs it in everybody's face. This year, Ellie is doing all she can to make sure Max is happy and well-cared for, because winning the prize is the most important thing to her, especially when the teenaged president of the Agricultural Club is transferred to her school. ( )
  mstrust | Sep 2, 2013 |
Everything this Newbery winning author writes is a gem. This is a laugh out loud book with a creative turn of a phrase. The images are crisp and the feelings produced are lovely.

In many ways it reminds me of the Jan Karon Mitford books.

Residing in a simple town of characters who live in Iowa. Ellie lives with her father and has a wonderful relationship with her nana and cousin Richard.

She desperately wants to win the largest pumpkin contest.

Battling with weight that she wants to lose, in the meantime she feeds and nurtures her giagantic pumpkin named Max that she wants to grow to 600 pounds.

Jumping through many hoops and doing anything, including talking to her pumpkin and renting a mangy dog to guard it so it won't get snatched, Ellie forgets the joy of the moment and a process and focuses too much on the winning.

I liked this easy, breezy book. It was just right for a day when I wanted to relax and enjoy. ( )
  Whisper1 | Jun 13, 2013 |
Ellie wants a lot of things: she wants to lose weight, she wants to get along with her father, and she wants Wes to be her boyfriend. What she wants most of all, however, is to beat Cyril Poole and grow the biggest pumpkin at the festival. Ellie battles the elements, gets a dog, and even tries talking to Max. She's got giant sized competition, however. ( )
  t1bclasslibrary | Mar 28, 2011 |
This book is so fabulous. It's about a girl named Ellie Morgan, a high schooler who just wants to grow big, giant, HUGE PUMPKINS. It's pretty fabulous. She's 16 years old and has been growing pumpkins since she was 8. After winning the junior competition 3 times in a row, Ellie enters the adult competition and wants to win more than anything.

There's a bunch of great mini-conflicts in this book - a history teacher who just doesn't understand the importance of the pumpkin, a father who hates farming and doesn't understand his grower-daughter, a dead mother, 20 extra pounds on Ellie, not nearly enough weight on Max (that's her GIANT PUMPKIN!), a cute boy who grows corn but may or may not have a girlfriend at home, and other fabulous things.

Ewww!! I just saw a version of the cover with a lipstick stain! The whole book is about pumpkins, how fabulous they are, and farming. Yes, Wes is her crush, but that's because he's a farmer! That's another thing I loved about this book - it made farming and growing, something I hadn't previously been interested in, fascinating. It made me feel like I had learned a little bit about how to grow a GIANT PUMPKIN even though I actually have no idea. It helped me understand how people can want to be farmers, which I never really got - it just seemed like work that involved getting dirty and sweaty and icky in order to grow food which you could buy in a store. It didn't make sense before, but Ellie's love for her GIANT PUMPKIN MAX and how much she had to care for him and how much she loved to see him grow made sense. That girl was dedicated to Max.

I was really convinced that Wes was going to think that Ellie and her cousin, Richard, were dating, and I'm glad that he never did - that'd be too pink lit (aka teen chick lit).

One thing that I didn't like about Ellie was that she was on this diet for the entire book. Yes, she was bigger that she wanted to be. Yes, it would probably be healthier for her to be thinner. Never - not once - did she try exercising. While her diet could probably use a change - it seems like she eats a lot of ice cream - the term diet makes the whole thing so negative. Despite the fact that she liked to eat different kinds of food and even cooked for her and her father, she dieted instead of changing her diet. Even her resolve was weak - she often broke down and ate loads of sweets. Ellie's only motivation to get thin seems to be Wes, who likes her anyway. It bothered me.

I liked the ending. You'll probably like it too...

SPOILER WARNING

STOP NOW OR CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!

Ellie wins, but not because her pumpkin was bigger, but because she was a better grower. All the reporters who were writing articles on her were really happy and all, but the best part was she won because she was the better grower. She was fair and really loved her pumpkin. She was in it to compete, but loved to grow too. If this book was a movie, she'd probably get second but have tried really hard. That's a lame ending. This ending is much better.

END SPOILER WARNING

This book was fabulous, and you should love it. ( )
  321Gemstar | Feb 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142404268, Paperback)

Have you ever played the "if only" game? Well, if only Ellie's potentially prize-winning pumpkin would gain 200 more pounds in time for the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In, and if only Ellie could lose 20 or so pounds herself, her life might be perfect. Well, at least it would be perfect enough to give her the courage to make friends with Wes--the cute new guy at school. She's well on her way to winning big on all counts when frost and pumpkin thieves begin to attack! The thing is, Ellie has the sass, humor, and smarts to be a winner--whether or not her pumpkin breaks the scales ... if only she would realize it. Smashing!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

As sixteen-year-old Ellie pursues her two goals--growing the biggest pumpkin in Iowa and losing twenty pounds herself--she strengthens her relationship with her father and meets a young man with interests similar to her own.

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