GUEST WRITER REZVAN DEHGHANI RECOMMENDS PUMPKINHEADS BY RAINBOW ROWELL
Pumpkinheads is a YA graphic novel created by the well-known writer Rainbow Rowell and the award-winning artist Faith Erin Hicks.
The story is about two high school seniors doing their final night shift together at a seasonal pumpkin patch. After three years of being autumnal best friends and workmates at a famous pumpkin patch, Josiah the MVPPP -Most Valuable Pumpkin Patch Person- and cheerful Deja have differing ideas on what should happen during this final shift. Josiah wants a routine Halloween night shift at the Succotash Hut, but Deja has a plan for the two of them to make the night the best Halloween ever by eating all of their favorite Halloween snacks, and finally getting “Josie” to speak to the co-worker he’s been mooning over for three years, nicknamed “The Fudge Girl.”
From the first page to the last you can feel and taste the sweetness of friendship and all those amazing autumnal colors and food. I believe it is a story that many YA readers will adore. I very much like the way the story depicts how bittersweet the senior years can be when you are dangling between adolescence and adulthood.
The character strengths of Josiah: hardworking, committed, ambitious, and those of Deja: generous, kind and supportive, along with the themes of empathy, responsibility, cultural diversity and teamwork, work together to create an engaging story. I believe that these two adolescents could be role models for students in many ways and this is one reason why I highly recommend this book.
All in all, Pumpkinheads is more than a story about a last evening at a popular pumpkin patch; it is about authentic friendship and speaking honestly, as can be seen in a few of Deja’s remarks to Josiah during their final shift:
” I’m your friend. And friends don’t let friends live small lives.”
” I can’t ever get a sense of someone until I meet them.”
” We could be friends for all seasons.”
” It’s not fate that brings people together. It’s people!”
” I don’t want this girl to achieve mythical status in your life just because you never talked with her.”
Rezvan Dehghani, originally from Iran, is an EAL instructor at Devon Middle school in Fredericton, NB.