It's an amazing coincidence that Susannah has a problem similar to one that I had in my own third grade year. (And an even bigger coincidence that we have similar names?) I had two homework assignments and spent too long on one, so that I didn't finish the other before it was due. Susannah stuffs her unfinished homework into her backpack, along with everything else that she doesn't want to deal with (or doesn't know what to do with), all day long. With each addition, her backpack gets heavier and heavier until it finally pops its zipper. The problem doesn't end even when she goes to bed, but follows her into her dreams. And finally, after waking her parents in the middle of the night with her dreams, Susannah tells them what is going on and asks for help.
Readers of Carole's picture books such as Rocket Bye or Can a Princess Be a Firefighter? are familiar with her portrayal of characters that seem to be children we know. Just as Susannah's homework situation was so much like mine, other readers will also notice details that seem pulled from their own lives. Who hasn't had a morning where the cereal spilled everywhere, had an item from their lunch make a mess in their bag, or received an invitation they would rather not accept? The appeal of this story is heightened by the sense of kinship we feel with Susannah and her dilemma. Adult readers will also sympathize with her parents and their hurried schedules.
Perfect for chapter book readers who enjoy realistic fiction and stories centered on school, family, and friends. The protagonist is an age that readers moving from picture books into longer stories can easily identify with.
I read an e-book provided by the author for review purposes.