Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Teashop Girls

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend Simon and Schuster's Librarian Preview. Many books were discussed, and lots of focus was on the elections, but this cutey patootie cover stuck out for me. I was delighted to have this arc in my goody bag!

Annie, Zoe and Genna used to do everything together. Now that 8th grade is coming to a close, however, things seem to be shifting. Genna is into her acting, Zoe is all about tennis and Annie is nervous about convincing her grandmother Louisa that she is indeed old enough to be a barista at The Steeping Leaf. The Leaf is Louisa's store, and it used to be a hangout for Annie, Zoe and Genna. They even used to call themselves the teashop girls! Now it seems like Annie is the only one interested in the place.

After successfully gaining employment at the Leaf, Annie makes a disheartening discovery. Louisa's shop is in trouble. Since her grandfather passed away and a certain chain shop opened up, business is bad. Leaf hottie and budding entrepreneur Jonathan has a few ideas about saving the shop. Annie doesn't agree with his tactics, but is wary of saying anything to ruin her chances with him.

When things go from bad to worse, can Annie rally her friends in order to save the Leaf? Will Zoe and Genna even be interested in their old hangout anymore?

Laura Schaefer has written a tea filled story about friendship and change. Annie is a girl who hangs on tightly to the past, and her friends are moving right along with their Middle School lives. Friendships are pushed and pulled and there is just the right dash of romance. Chapters begin with quotes about tea, and old advertisements are placed at the end of the chapters. I know much more about tea than I did when I cracked open this book. This is sure contender for a book club choice of the mother daughter variety.