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Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains
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Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  67 reviews
THIS IS THE tale of Lucy and her best friend, Wynston. Until recently, they spent their days paddling in the river, picking blackberries, and teasing each other mercilessly. But now, King Desmond has insisted that Wynston devote every spare second to ruby-shining and princess-finding. Lucy feels left out. So she sets off for the Scratchy Mountains to solve the mystery of h ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published 2008)
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3.5 STARS. I loved the first 1/4 of this book. It holds a whimsical, fairytale quality full of keen insight into people's behavior and a gentle way of looking at the world as holding a delicious wonderment. I thought it was poetic and utterly captivating. I was instantly drawn into the story of spunky, slightly bossy Lucy and her quest to find her mother who was "gone" (no one would ever say any more than that). Lucy decides to look somewhere in the Scratchy Mountains her mother used to sing abo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlyn  Trussell
Aug 06, 2009 Charlyn Trussell rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Gr. 4 and up
Lucy, the milkmaid, and Wynston, the prince, spent most of their days together and part of that time was spent in arguing about anything and everything. But each counted on meeting one another daily. So, when Wynston's father decided the young prince should begin the process of picking a young princess to be his wife, Wynston didn't arrive for their berry-picking and that's when things went awry.

Lucy had wondered for some time where her mother was because all her father ever told Lucy and her si
The Styling Librarian
Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder - Fairy Tale Novel, 4th/5th grade- Have you ever began reading a book with an accent already running through your mind? Ever burst into song while reading lyrics for the first time? I adore how Laurel Snyder writes, what I loved: Description of mountain: It was a blot of ink, a puddle of spilled molasses, a solid swarm of wasps. The forest was so dark that it was impossible to make out individual trees, and Lucy had no way of knowing who or wha ...more
You can tell from this book that Laurel Snyder is a poet; milkmaild Lucy makes up songs that could make it into any anthology of children's poetry. It's also an adventure story about Lucy's journey to find her missing mother, accompanied (sort of) by Wynston, the crown prince and her best friend. At times the silliness seemed to overpower the story to me, especially when it meant that the adult characters were so much less rounded and real-seeming than Lucy and Wynston. But the ending is satisfy ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Christy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sophia, Aerianna, Anna, Shauna
This morning I've been thinking up subtitles for Laurel Snyder's sometimes quirky and surprisingly thoughtful book. Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains: A Fanciful Primar to Civil Disobedience or Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains: Why Your Overactive HOA Should Not Dominate the Neighborhood. In the end, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains is a light-hearted fantasy featuring the well-mannered Prince Wynston, arguementative and warm-hearted milkmaid Lucy, and a happy ending, but as I followed the ...more
So I read this book in the hopes that it would be a mystery book I could recommend this summer. While it technially isn't a mystery, it is still a wonderful book.

Lucy is a milkmaid in the town of Thistle and her best friend is Wynston, the prince of Thistle. Lucy's mom disappeard when she was a baby and doesn't know what happened to her. Lucy decides to return to the place where her mom is from, the Scratchy Mountains.

Lucy's adventure takes her up the mountain, with the company of Rosebud the
This is a fun book with a fun writing style: "Lucy's best friend was a boy named Wynston. He happened to be a prince, but it wasn't his fault." Lucy is the madcap daring one (though she turns out to be very caring), and Wynston is the sensible one (who of course goes a little wild at times, mostly to help Lucy). But despite some cliches, they are good, solid characters who get into some crazy scrapes while off on their adventure and rescue on the Scratchy Mountains.

This novel hit on some difficu
I loved this book! It reads like a fairy tale, although there isn't really any magic going on (unless you count nearly-superhuman knitting powers, and the town where it rains every night and stops every day at noon on the dot).

Lucy, a milkmaid, is best friends with Wynston, the prince. They are both upset when Wynston's father insists that Wynston needs to spend more time learning to be a prince—and in seeking a suitable princess to marry one day in the future.

Lucy, missing her best friend, hea
I was enchanted by this sweet, charming story of a milkmaid and a prince, friends from childhood, who come of age and learn how to stand up for what they believe is good and right in the world. I am always searching for decent books that are appropriate and appeal to the 4th and 5th grade girls at my school. This is perfect--it's a well-balanced amalgamation of adventure, romance and humor with a touch of pathos as well. You cannot help but grow fond of Lucy and Wynston as they muddle their way ...more
Lovely story about Lucy whose inquisitive mind sends her on a memorable adventure, and her friend Wynston, who happens to be a prince but for whom the trappings of royalty are far less important then loyalty. The pair are fast friends but growing up puts them into a situation that changes their relationship. The book is an exploration of the value of friendship and status in juxtaposition with existing expectations and institutions and whether or not it's worth it to adhere to the status quo.

The whimsical time period and the fun voice of Laurel Snyder make this a great read. We learn that old traditions aren't always necessary. Lucy the milk maid takes us on our journey to find her mother and the Prince actually chases her for a change.
This was a lot of fun to read. It has some predictable moments, but there are a collection of secondary characters - Sally, Masha, King Desmond, the citizens of Torrent, and Willie - who add plenty of humor. This is not a straight-forward once-upon-a-time fairy tale, and it does take about a chapter or two to get into the author's style. Once you do, though, you're rewarded with a great story.

To read our full review, go to The Reading Tub.
3 1/2 stars- This was a fun, whimsical story. The poetry (in the form of songs the main character makes up) is just delightful. The ending was a bit surprising, with it not wrapping up one of the main issues the way you would expect (based on the feel of the rest of the story). But still a good read. It's set up in a way that you would expect several sequels (which have not been written/published yet). I would definitely read more about the small worlds of Thistle and Torrent.
Jane G Meyer
Hmmm. There's so much I really loved about this book--especially the author's quirky style. She really knows how to play with language and very often I felt like I was playing along. That's a gift.

But somehow the characters, though they were unique and interesting, just didn't stick tightly to me. The plot had some slow moments in the middle and really, I can't wrap my finger around what might be lacking? Doesn't say much for me as an editor...

I'll keep thinking about it.
Nov 04, 2008 Isabelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Emmy, Julianna, and Katherine
I would give this book 50 stars if I could! Laurel Snyder is SUCH a great author. I met her! She came to my school. I fell in love with this book and all the characters in it. Lucy the milkmaid goes on a journey to find her mother and a prince named Winston ( Lucy's best friend ) goes after her. Lucy takes Rosebud the cow and she finds a prairie dog named Cat. Winston takes his his horse named Sprout. READ THIS BOOK!!!!
I wish I had kids that would like this kind of book - I would have loved it as a 9yo! Although it's not completely dissimilar to Clover Twig...
Very sweet book and enjoyable. It was delightfully childish. However, there were a couple times when I was reading that I thought, "I wonder how it would have been if the author made the book longer, the storyline a bit more complex, the characters more developed - made it geared more towards the older kids?" I think that it would be neat to see it both ways. Nevertheless, it was good. :)
Despair Speaking
This was actually pretty funny and interesting.

Oh sure, it's random and there's not much a plot going on, but it has its ups (and a lot of them) and it is very entertaining.

I recommend this to those who like strong-willed (the polite term for hard-headed) female characters, princes, animals, and strange situations.
3. 5 stars really. A nice story about two best friends, a prince and a young milkmaid, who go on an adventure and discover how much they mean to each other. The story is solid and brings up issues such as death and the role of law in society though it isn't as serious as this sentence makes it sound. Interesting.
This was a fun read-aloud even though it took a long time to get through because the chapters are very long. But it is an endearing story about a milkmaid and a prince, and their adventures together in leaving home, breaking laws, saving a prairie dog, and deciding they are meant for each other.
The Library Lady
Funny adventure with a little bit of fairy tale trappings, but no a "princessy" sort of book. Lucy is spunky (though I hate that word) and a bit bossy, but also kindhearted and brave. My kind of book, and I think my 9 year old should give it a try too.
this is such a good book I love it and it kind of got sad in the end and then you just want to keep reading just as much. It might sound a little cheesy about a prairie dog named cat and a cow named rosebud as her friends but it is preety good.
Used this as a read aloud for my 4th graders last year- and boy am I glad that I did. We all loved it! Then we had the opportunity to Skype with Laurel Snyder. An awesome book written by a fantastic lady!
Nice story about friendship, responsibility and adventure. Good for younger readers. Reminds me of a Disney story... Animal friends, no mom, singing/poetry, adventure, prince, etc.
I love it, I need to read it again for i have only read it once. :O thats a shocker!!!! i've read all my other books a million times!!!!!!!! i'm neglecting my books..... :( bad me
Reading my way through Laurel Snyder's books! This book was a fun read! The book is also being passed around my gets checked out from the library again and again.
One Sentence Review: Not quite like any other fairy tale novel I've encountered, and while I might have shortened it a tad I think it's indicative of a strong writing talent.
The best part of this book is the title, and the writing, which is lovely. The story is cute and whimsical, but it felt bogged down with too much dialogue.
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Laurel Snyder is the author of five children's novels, "Seven Stories Up," "Bigger than a Bread Box," "Penny Dreadful," "Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess" and "Any Which Wall" (Random House) as well as six picture books, "Nosh, Schlep, Schluff," "Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher," "The Longest Night," "Camp Wonderful Wild," "Good night, laila tov," an ...more
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