Eight year old Donahue Penelope Schneider (nicknamed Dessert by her grandmother) is feeling neglected by her large and busy family and wants to feel special again. With two younger brothers she calls the Beasties, a younger sister and parent who are always rushing off to work, Dessert feels like no one knows she is alive or cares about her. If she can win the Thomas Edison Contest at school, she knows her family will remember how great she is. Dessert imagines a variety of inventions that would help her win the Thomas Edison Contest as she ponders the usefulness or practicality of each idea.
Readers this age with younger brothers and sisters will relate to Dessert and her feelings of being forgotten with the everyday events in a family’s life. This story would be a great read-aloud for a second or third grade class or a class talking about inventors and inventions. Short chapters and black and white illustrations throughout, and type that increases and decreases in size to emphasize feelings and thoughts, the reader will enjoy the story on many levels. Ages 7-10 177 pages Recommended by Donna Jo Cody, New York USA