Everything about this trip to Grandma’s house was different: First, because of the fire, Mrs. Treski, Evan, and Jessie had driven up to Grandma’s two days after Christmas instead of the day before, missing Christmas with Grandma entirely. Second, the fire had left a hole in the back kitchen wall big enough to drive a car through! And with Grandma in the hospital and not in her house, everything felt off. Third, someone had climbed the long, slow slope of Lovell Hill to the top and had stolen the old iron bell hanging on its heavy wooden crossbeam. Who on earth would steal the New Year’s Bell? And how could Grandma, Mrs.Treski, Evan, Jessie, and their neighbors ring in the New Year without it? Like a modern-day Beverly Cleary, Ms. Davies writes with heart, humor, and honesty about the inevitability of profound change and reveals just how well she understands the complex emotions of the children.
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