Katie's family has always celebrated Thanksgiving in a certain way: pizza on the couch in front of the television. She likes it, her younger brother likes it, and her dad likes it. But then Claire tells Katie that that's not a "real" way to celebrate Thanksgiving, and Claire wonders how to have the perfect celebration. She's worried that without her mom, they might not be a "real" family, and is determined to prove otherwise to everyone. But when there are unexpected guests, cooking disasters, and a possible poison oak infestation, has Katie gone too far? Can this holiday be saved?
I had no idea that this book was originally published in 2001 until I went to IndieBound to find a link. (I guess I should start paying more attention to the publishers copyright page in books, eh?) See the original cover? The book didn't read dated or 'old' to me in any way that tipped me off (it might sound silly to think of 10 years as dated, but a lot can happen in terms of trends in a decade). Katie is an extremely sympathetic protagonist and I felt for her as she was torn between herself, her family, and what other people might think of her and her family. At times I did wonder if this was part of a series (especially around some of the details of her mother, who was pursuing a singing career), but I think it was just that the book didn't spell out every single detail - and I liked that. The Thanksgiving aspects of the plot (and the cover, which I really like) make it a natural book to pick up in the fall, but the way that the story deals with issues of divorce, peer pressure, and living up to expectations are worth revisiting all year long.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
Bummer Summer by Anne M. Martin
Tails of Spring Break by Anne Warren Smith
Bittersweet Summer by Anne Warren Smith
Don't Be Such a Turkey by Nancy E. Krulik