Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Last Little Blue Envelope, written by Maureen Johnson. Harper, 2011. $18.99 ages 12 and up
I can't believe it took me so long to read Maureen Johnson's exceptional follow-up to 13 Little Blue Envelopes! To tell you the truth, it took me no time at all to finish it....just to get started. Once I opened it to the first page, I was hooked and did not finish reading until 1:29 this morning. If I am a bit foggy in this post, I have good reason to be. I need that rejuvenating 'beauty' sleep!
Having said that, I am delighted that I put it at the top of my pile and now I can tell you all about the read. It was so good to be with Ginny and Keith again! Some things have changed since Ginny went home to America after her great European adventure. When her backpack was stolen, and Aunt Peg's final blue envelope with it, I thought it was over as Ginny did.
An email from a young man named Oliver telling her that he has found the last envelope in a backpack he purchased while travelling in Greece makes the decision to return to England and finish the journey that Aunt Peg instigated an easy one. In no time, she is packed and on her way. While she has changed since her last visit, so has Keith. He has a girlfriend and that is very upsetting to Ginny who fancies herself in love with him...and he with her. At least, she thought they had 'something'.
Meeting Oliver and knowing that he holds the key to the next part of Aunt Peg's voyage of discovery, Ginny has no choice but to travel with Oliver and share the monetary windfall it is sure to generate. It is a trip fraught with difficulties and a certain air of uncertainty. We learned much about Ginny's aunt in the first book and we know that she would approve of the learning that Ginny does while searching for the parts to the final piece of art created by the irrepressible and eccentric Peg.
In this book we learn more about Ginny, and watch her grow and change. Maureen Johnson gives us characters to admire, and gives her readers a book that meets and surpasses any expectations they might have had for a sequel. She keeps us on the edge of our seats as we encounter the people, places and the difficulties that Ginny and her friends face. She provides excitement, some anxious moments, new connections, wit, charm and a vicarious yet vivid trip to London, Amsterdam and Ireland. And, she entertains with a story to remember and a hope that this is not the last we will see of Ginny Blackstone. Bravo!