'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 18 October 2019

Review: Pumpkin Heads

This is a warm hearted exploration of friendship, set in the world’s best pumpkin patch.

So, having grown up with American television, I assumed I was on top of all of their traditions. But obviously not. 

I had no idea that a Pumpkin Patch was a thing – an autumn harvest festival that continues for about two months culminating in Halloween. 

The pumpkin patch itself features as a character as much as Josiah and Deja, a pair of teenagers who work there.

This sweet graphic novel takes place over the final night of the festival. This will be the last time that Josiah and Deja will run the succotash stall ever, as they will be off to college the following year. 

Josiah has a crush on the girl who runs another stall – has had for the previous three years he has worked the patch, and has not yet had the courage to approach her. That night will be his last chance.

Lucky for him, his coworker Deja is as outgoing as he is shy. Mischievous and generous, Deja has dated heaps of the guys and girls who work the patch. She encourages Josiah to abandon their stall to go and find the girl of his dreams, whilst she accompanies him – and samples all of the junk food on offer. 

Where is the girl? 

At the corn kettle? The fudge stall? They cruise through all the attractions the patch has to offer – such as a giant corn maze and hay rides, and deal with anything from angry goats to missing toddlers.

This novel is as much a celebration of friendship and loyalty as it is of this mid-west tradition that most teenagers have grown out of - but love anyway.

And now I’m off to find a recipe for succotash.

Title: Pumpkin Heads
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books, $19.99 
Publication Date: 1 September 2019 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781626721623
For ages: 14–18 
Type: Young Adult Fiction