Tolan Stephanie S. Surviving the Applewhites. HarperCollins, 2002. ISBN 0066236029. $17.89. 216 pp. Reviewer: Janet Francis Reading Level: Intermediate; Rating: Dependable; Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction; Humorous stories; Subject: Theatre--Juvenile fiction; Family life--North Carolina--Fiction; Eccentrics and eccentricities--Juvenile fiction; Books--Reviews; The Applewhites of Wit's End have an uncommon passion for involvement and for creative endeavor. Fortunately almost every family member has some sort of passionate connection to a creative project that works for a home-schooling project, except for E.D. (Edith) whose major talent seems to lie in the direction of organization, a skill admired but largely unnoticed by the remainder of the family. Jake Semple joins the family by way of being tossed out of the last possible school he can rile; Jeremy Bernstein shows up to interview and stays to expound; and Govindaswami comes to meditate and teach and stays to cook. As this mulligan stew of characters gather with the Applewhite family, the events of the book turn up the heat and activate the spices, as Randolph Applewhite takes on the community theatre project "The Sound of Music" to produce an amazing Applewhite dish worthy of Wit's End. This summer-reading novel is funny, full of memorable characters and fast moving.
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