Friday, February 06, 2015

The Graham Cracker Plot

The Graham Cracker Plot. Shelley Tougas. 2015. Roaring Brook Press. 288 pages. [Source: Library]

Most of The Graham Cracker Plot is a notebook or journal written to Judge Henry. The heroine, Daisy (Aurora Dawn) Bauer, though twelve, has gotten into trouble with the law. When the novel opens, Daisy is convinced of one thing. It is ALL Graham's fault. By the novel's close, will she have accepted responsibility for her role in 'The Graham Cracker' plot?

Will this review have spoilers? It depends. I tell no more than what the opening sentences reveal on the jacket flap. Actually, I reveal far less than the jacket flap does. In my opinion, this particular jacket flap reveals EVERY detail of the book. But the whole format of the book is an after-the-fact perspective of events.

So what is the Graham Cracker plot? Well. Daisy's father is in prison. She calls him the Chemist. (To my recollection, readers don't learn his real name.) She visits her father once a month with her grandmother. That is, she's supposed to be allowed to visit him once a month. Actually, Daisy loses her privilege of seeing him because of her behavior, her privileges are suspended for either three months or six. She loves the Chemist. And she hates to see him in prison. Not that she hates going there and seeing him. She feels she needs to see him in order to be okay. But she hates that he is in prison at all. She strongly feels that the Chemist is innocent and doesn't deserve to be in prison at all. The Graham Cracker plot is about breaking him out of prison and fleeing to Canada. It is the work primarily by two (troubled) children: Graham Hassler and Daisy herself. They get another person involved--Ashley. From start to finish, the Graham Cracker plot is a complete mess, a cringe-worthy failure of a plan. No matter what happens, however, Daisy and Graham want to carry on and keep on going.

Readers already know that the plan goes horribly wrong, and that Daisy is being 'punished' in some way for her involvement.

What I liked best about The Graham Cracker plot was the development of Daisy's character. The Daisy we meet at the beginning of the novel, is not quite the same Daisy readers are left with at the close. Some maturing has occurred. Which is a good thing, in my opinion. This one does have cringe-worthy moments. Moments where the characters are making horrible decisions--embarrassingly bad decisions.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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