Hamline News

MFAC Alum Book Debuts

Melanie Heuiser Hill 375

Giant Pumpkin Suite, by Melanie Heuiser Hill (MFAC '13)
Published by Candlewick
Published September 12, 2017
Middle Grade Novel, 448 pages
Buy the book from Candlewick

Visit Melanie's website

About the Book

Twelve-year-old Rose Brutigan has grown seven inches in the last eight months. She’s always been different from her twin brother, Thomas, but now she towers over him in too many ways. The gap in their interests continues to widen as well. 

Musically talented Rose is focused on winning the upcoming Bach Cello Suites Competition, while happy-go-lucky Thomas has taken up the challenge of growing a giant pumpkin in the yard of their elderly neighbor, Mr. Pickering. 

When a serious accident changes the course of the summer, Rose is forced to grow and change in ways she never could have imagined. Along the way there’s tap dancing and classic musicals, mail-order worms and neighborhood-sourced compost, fresh-squeezed lemonade, the Minnesota State Fair — and an eclectic cast of local characters that readers will fall in love with.

Some of the Critical Praise

"There's abundant warmth, humor, and heart in this charmer, and readers will root for both characters and pumpkin. A winning debut." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"In a warmhearted debut novel, Hill shows what happens when a serious-minded girl is forced to reevaluate her priorities and reach out to others...Offering distinctive characters, a relatable plot, and some useful gardening tips, Hill’s story promotes connectivity in neighborhoods and communities." —Publishers Weekly

"The book is a bittersweet tribute to the experience of growing up in a close-knit neighborhood; characters are written with care and depth...Fans of Sharon Creech’s Moo and other books about intergenerational friendship will enjoy this book." —School Library Journal

“Highly recommended. Neighbors come together to turn the backyard into a giant garden bed, and Rose’s cello teacher instructs her to play for the pumpkin as practice for the upcoming Bach Cello Suites Competition. … The story is filled with a diverse cast of characters, and the twins live in a multi-generational household. … Music lovers will connect with Rose, and readers … will be rewarded with a satisfying finish.” —School Library Connection

Publication Reading & Party

Publication Reading and Party on September 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Red Balloon along with National Book Award winner Pete Hautman

Red Balloon Website