Another ORCA nominee for next year's award in the upper elementary category, this book is, well, meh. The suspension of disbelief required in order to really buy the plot was just too great to overcome. The premise is that two girls are being cared for by an elderly woman who rents out cottages to summer travelers. She dies. The girls, not wanting to be taken away and put into the system, bury her in the backyard and begin to run the business themselves. Um, yeah. The likelihood of that working out for any length of time is nil. Nobody - not George, who is always working at the property; not the parents checking into the cottages and later use the girls as babysitters; not Stella's mom, who is supposed to be working to get her daughter back - senses anything is wrong.
In conclusion, I think this book would be absolutely entertaining to kids in the appropriate age range. I imagine I would have loved the book at a kid, just imagining what life would be like having all that control, well, it has its appeal. It just doesn't reach us adults, although I'm not sure it needs to.
34 down plus 18 to go.