Katie's family likes to celebrate Thanksgiving "easy." According to her dad, that was how they did things even before her mother left to become a country music star. The order of the day is to "wear our pajamas until noon. We eat popcorn, make pizza, and watch the football game on TV./Dad says our way is a fine way to celebrate a national holiday./When I found out he might be wrong, it was almost too late..."
It is her neighbor, Claire, who enlightens Katie as to the "right" way to celebrate Thanksgiving: turkey and all the other traditional foods, appropriate decorations, guests, and invitations. So Katie starts making lists of everything she needs to do the holiday in style. Her dad, however, is adamant: there's no reason to change, and, besides, he has a big report for his boss due the night before that will keep him busy all week. But that doesn't stop Katie. She even sneaks an invitation to her teacher, Ms. Morgan, before Claire has a chance to do so.
The fourth-grader tries to train her three-year-old brother, Tyler, to be less of a messy eater, and finally convinces Dad to make Thanksgiving traditional this year. But as the big day approaches, things begin to go wrong. The sweet potatoes burn. The turkey is frozen solid Thanksgiving morning. But as the guests arrive, and Claire, taking pity on her neighbor, invites everyone to their home, Katie comes to a realization--Thanksgiving at her house is just find the way it is. And with a little help from their guests, it is perfect.
This is a warm, humorous, believable story about the realities of family relationships, the desire to fit in, and the importance of remaining true to yourself. Katie is a convincing heroine, and all the characters are true-to-life. The reader understands Claire's need to have everything "perfect." Turkey Monster Thanksgiving is ideal not only for the season but for any time a story touching on its themes is of interest. Short chapters make it a good read-aloud and read-alone for even the most reluctant reader. A wonderful beginning to a quality series. 103 pages. Ages 7-10
Recommended by Barbara Karp, Librarian, New York, USA