Joanne Rocklin’s One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street is a just right sort of book for the end of summer. It’s not too long, but it makes you think. It’s a little melancholy and sweet and poetic. It’s about family, community, history, everyday magic, and how we’re connected in ways that we sometimes recognize, and in ways that we’ll never notice. You’ll be able to read it in an afternoon. I’d say it would be perfect hammock reading.
The story begins when an orange pylon appears on the curb in front of the empty lot on Orange Street. The empty lot is where the big old Valencia orange tree grows, and has grown for many years. A little while later a stranger shows up, and nobody knows why, though everyone has ideas. The orange tree and the empty lot are at the center of many small mysteries that will be uncovered and resolved by the end of one eventful day. You’ll get to know all of the kids who live on Orange Street, and you’ll love how they seem to be ordinary and quirky all at once. Each chapter reveals a bit more about their worries and hopes and ideas.
I do wonder about readership. This book meanders, and the way that things come together at the end might appeal more to an adult’s sense of nostalgia than to kids’ desire for drama. I hope that it finds its way into the hands of the right readers, because I’m sure they’ll love it.
One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street is published by Amulet.