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Welcome to Camden Falls
Cover of Welcome to Camden Falls
Welcome to Camden Falls
Main Street Series, Book 1

Flora and Ruby do not want to move to Camden Falls. But they don't really have a choice - their parents are dead and their grandmother, Min, is taking them in. Min runs a sewing store, Needle & Thread, at the heart of Main Street in Camden Falls. There, Flora and Ruby become friends with Olivia, who likes to organize things, and Nikki, who lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Even if Flora and Ruby never expected it to, Camden Falls becomes their home.

Flora and Ruby do not want to move to Camden Falls. But they don't really have a choice - their parents are dead and their grandmother, Min, is taking them in. Min runs a sewing store, Needle & Thread, at the heart of Main Street in Camden Falls. There, Flora and Ruby become friends with Olivia, who likes to organize things, and Nikki, who lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Even if Flora and Ruby never expected it to, Camden Falls becomes their home.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 16, 2007
    Martin launches her Main Street series with this appealing though somewhat sleepy tale, set in a small Massachusetts town. Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger sister, Ruby, whose parents died five months earlier in a car accident, come to live with their big-hearted grandmother, Min. Their new home is one of eight attached row houses, whose other residents include bright, brassy Olivia, who is Flora's age; an earnest teenage boy with Down syndrome; a pair of teenage sisters, one conscientious and kind, the other initially aloof and rebellious; and a patient, elderly man devoted to his wife, who suffers from dementia. Also playing supporting roles are a girl who lives in a run-down house on the edge of town, whose gruff, defensive veneer eventually cracks; and a mysterious older woman who does mending in Min's sewing store. A passionate needleworker, Flora relishes the hours she spends helping out and doing sewing projects in the shop. Readers may agree with Ruby—whose passion is dancing and singing—that time spent there is not all that lively. But Martin deftly reveals the novel's affecting underpinning—the girls' adjustment to their new life without their parents. Helping sensitive Flora with the transition is her discovery of her mother's diary and a box of old photos and letters, which helps her feel that indeed there "was a place for her in this room, in this house, in this town." The sisters begin school in their new town in Needle and Thread
    , due in August. Ages 9-12.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 9, 2007
    Meyers’s honeyed, youthful voice gives Martin’s latest, the first in the Main Street series for middle-graders, the easygoing pace one might expect from the series’ title. Eleven-year-old Flora and her younger sister Ruby are orphaned when their parents are killed in a car accident. Five months after the tragedy, the siblings move with their grandmother Min to her home in the sleepy small town of Camden Falls, Mass. As the family grieves and adjusts to new circumstances—“getting their life back in order”—listeners are taken along to meet interesting friends and neighbors in Camden Falls. Kind-hearted Min co-owns a sewing shop, Needle and Thread, and lives in one of eight connected row houses in a historic building—all fodder for the sort of diverse community interactions, budding friendships and dramas that are the stuff of many of the author’s popular works. Unfortunately, Meyers’s characterizations are uneven, in contrast to her solid, straight narrative passages. Ruby’s voice is too babyish and whiny, and the girls’ energetic new pal Olivia is given an affected child characterization that is equally grating. Her takes on some of the older town residents, as well as a boy with Down Syndrome are slightly more successful. A bonus author interview, in which she discusses her characters, series and career is included. Ages 9-up.

  • AudioFile Magazine Ann Martin once again has her finger on the pulse of girls aged 8-12. Her first title in this new series will win instant fans. Ariadne Meyers's narration is just as captivating. She succeeds at the sizable task of capturing the story of Flora and Ruby, who move to a New England town after their parents' death and are welcomed by a large cast of characters. Meyers presents us with thoughtful older sister Flora and younger Ruby, whose tumult of feelings rockets from one extreme to another. In addition, Meyers gives a convincing portrayal of the girls' grandmother, several friends, and a boy with Down's syndrome. Meyers is gifted in the nuances of feelings, helping listeners empathize with these characters. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
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Welcome to Camden Falls
Welcome to Camden Falls
Main Street Series, Book 1
Ann M. Martin
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