Reena's family leaves the city and moves to Maine. Their lives are completely changed. No more busses and noise. No more crowds and bustling. As Reena and her brother, Luke, explore their new community, they find themselves drawn to the farm with the Belted Galloways. Weren't cows just like large sheep? Gentle and soft? These creatures with their ENORMOUS heads are scary and stinky! Not long after settling in Maine, their mother befriends an old woman at the doctor's office. Mrs. Falala. Their parents "volunteer" the kids to help nutto, scary Mrs. Falala. To help with what? They did not know. Mrs. Falala is a hard woman to please. Her cow Zora is just as stubborn and temperamental. Sharon Creech's poetic style of writing is infused with humor. This story reminds us that life is full of surprises and new experiences...and a little kindness can go a long way!
The main character is the only girl left in her family. Her mother died, and she lives on a farm with her strict, harsh father and brothers. She is forced to drop out of school to tend to the housework, the chickens and her family. Her mother always wanted her to get an education...to be something more... Her former teacher gave her a notebook to encourage her writing and lent her books, as well. She was very smart, and had the potential to become a teacher herself. The father destroys the books, setting up a showdown between the two. One day she reads that other girls are hired by wealthy families in large cities to do the same work she is doing. She is determined to find a way to earn money, determined to make her mother and teacher proud, determined to have a say in her own life. What does she do? Where does she go? Does she succeed?