Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Story Set in DC: The People in Pineapple Place by Anne Lindbergh

I recently found this story at the local library, and found it to be completely charming. Of course, the fact that it's set only a few blocks away from where my husband and I spent our first month of marriage certainly adds to the charm. It's always fun to read a book that includes places that you are familiar with.

The People In Pineapple Place takes place in Georgetown, which is a beautiful, upscale neighborhood in NW D.C. The main character, August, is discouraged and angry because his parents got divorced and he had to move to DC from Vermont, and his mom is working all the time as a lawyer. And when she does actually talk to him, she does it in this weird lawyer-speak. So August ends up exploring on his own and discovers this very special alley--Pineapple Place. There, he meets several families that have lived in the same neighborhood together for at least 50 years. The crazy thing is that all of them are the same age they were 50 years ago!

So here's the kicker. It's a fun local story with a zany time warp twist thrown in. August makes all these wonderful new friends, but most of the time, no one can see any of them! But their invisibility is unreliable, which makes some of their adventures especially interesting! During one special magical afternoon, August gets to spend one day with his friends back during the 1950s, when there were trolley cars everywhere and the amusement park at Glen Echo was still in business. It's fun thinking about the same places in a completely different time period. And of course, since no one can see them, they need to subsist on their own among themselves. It certainly is an interesting community!

My curiosity is piqued by the fact that the book is dedicated to her son, "who found Pineapple Place". And though I haven't checked yet, I'm longing to go see if it's really there or not. (In the book, the street itself was invisible to most people.)

While it will never be on the classics shelf, this book is definitely a fun read for children (1-5 grade range) that live in the DC area. It has some fun adventures, is full of curiosity without having anything scary, and has a really great message about how to make friends and love your family.

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