Franny, Pru, Cat, and Ivy all live on the same street, but that is about all they have in common. Franny wants to be an explorer; Pru is afraid of almost everything and has safety tips for every situation; Cat seems to be perfect, and Ivy has a jinx. So, how do they end up in a secret society?
It starts when Ivy moves into #5 Gumm Street, and before they even have their things moved in, a piano is mysteriously delivered and Mr. Staccato shows up offering lessons. Then strange things continue to happen to Ivy around school (which isn't really new to her, but it is to her new classmates). Then, when school lets out for the summer, the students are thrown together at a piano recital, after which Mr. Staccato surprisingly gives Ivy his collection of ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz. That night there is a mysterious hurricane that brings with it a crazy lady named Cha-Cha, who claims that Ivy should give the shoes to her. Trying to protect themselves (and the town) from this crazy witch-like lady, the girls team up and form a club.
The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls by Elise Primavera (Lexile: 910; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is certainly a wild ride through the aftermath of the Tale of Oz (what really happened to those slippers?) as the girls navigate a world full of witches, talking potatoes, safety tips, and a world they thought was make-believe. Any reader who looks for a crazy summer adventure may find one in the pages of this book. (441 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.