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Louly by Carol Ryrie Brink


by Carol Ryrie Brink

Other authors: Ingrid Fetz (Illustrator)

Series: Chrystal & Cordelia (2)

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Louly is a good role model, in that she's all girl but still bold, authentically sweet, responsible, and mischievous. As a child I would have loved the idea of spending several weeks of summer being in charge of my brother, my younger sister, and the house & garden, and getting to spend so much time with my two best friends. Ultimately, though, the story seems to me to be a little too pale & pleasant, not enough heart or depth to be memorable.

Good 'bridge' for fans of Betsy-Tacy who love the little girls' adventures but aren't ready to watch them go through high school. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Carol Ryrie Brink returns to the world of Warsaw, Idaho - a setting that was no doubt based upon her own birth-place of Moscow, Idaho - in this sequel to Two Are Better Than One. The heroines of that earlier book, Chrystal Reese and Cordelia Lark, are major characters here, but the focus has shifted from their intimate friendship with one another to their involvement with Chrys' neighbor Louisa Lee Tucker, known to all as Louly. When Mr. and Mrs. Tucker go "Back East" to visit relatives in Michigan, the three Tucker children - almost-fifteen-year-old Louly, sixteen-year-old Ko-Ko (Konrad), and ten-year-old Poo-Bah (Paula Belle) - are left mostly to their own devices, with responsible adults to look in on them if need be. So begins a summer of play, with games of make-believe and camping out in the back yard. Louly, with one foot still in the world of childhood - the world of Cordy, Chrys and Poo-Bah - and one foot just inching into young womanhood, was a master at organizing imaginative fun - "the ideas popped out all over her" - and an important figure in her siblings' and young neighbors' lives.

Although I didn't rate it quite as highly as its predecessor, I greatly enjoyed Louly, which featured the same kind of small-town fun that made Two Are Better Than One such a pleasure to read. It didn't make me laugh quite as much as Chrys and Cordy's story first story, but it did make me smile, and I found all the characters immensely engaging. Chrys - who seems to be a stand-in for the author - features more prominently here than Cordy, and I thought Brink handled her prickly feelings about being different with sensitivity. I also liked the depictions offered of the various boys, from Ko-Ko and the Lark brothers, who outwardly scorn their girly sisters and their friends, but still manage to be supportive and concerned in their own way, to the two young sophomores that Chrys and Cordy meet at the dance in Springdale, who turn out to be as inexperienced as they are. Louly herself is an appealing heroine, with believable flaws - a tendency to forget to be "responsible" amongst them - but a loving heart and a unique way of being in the world that cannot fail to charm.

In sum: this entertaining sequel is well worth reading, and is particularly recommended to anyone who enjoyed Brink's first exploration of child life in Warsaw, Idaho! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 22, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carol Ryrie Brinkprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fetz, IngridIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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In 1908 in Idaho fifteen-year-old Louly, left in charge during her parent's absence, has an adventurous summer with her brother, sister, and her two girlfriends.

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