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Annotation: Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives.
Catalog Number: #16663
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 220 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-16647-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-13893-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-16647-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-13893-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2006025292
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Nine-year-old David has been living with his grandmother since his mother's accidental death. Still in pain, he's determined not to make friends in his new town and not to make nice with his grandmother. Slowly, though, he forms a close albeit abrasive relationship with 13-year-old Primrose, whose single parent barely seems to notice when she moves into a nearby abandoned van. More kinship than friendship, the kids' bond draws them together and thrusts timid David into adventures from late-night treasure hunts in the neighbors' trash, to a highly competitive search for night crawlers, to an overnight hike to (or at least toward) Philadelphia. Funny, startling, and touching in turn, Spinelli's novel portrays two children, bereft and secretive, hurt and angry, who manage to give each other things that they need and cannot get won't accept om the adults in their lives. The occasional reflections of adult characters seem out of place, but readers will find some of the scenes between David and Primrose vivid and memorable.
Horn Book
Nine-year-old David and thirteen-year-old Primrose share a unique, volatile friendship. Both have absent parents, and Spinelli skillfully portrays their fragile psyches, leading them to simultaneously cling to and lash out at one another. Though the children's wounds may heal too cleanly in the end, their fierce devotion to each other makes everything they do seem possible.
Kirkus Reviews
It started with eggs—nine-year-old David on his way to an Easter egg hunt with his grandmother, 13-year-old Primrose living in an old Dodge van egged by local teenagers. And it ends, almost, with a sunrise "beautiful and smooth as a painted egg." In between, it's the story of a boy who has lost his mother and wants her back, and a girl who has a mother and moves out to get away from her. Together, they build a friendship watching late shows on TV, picking through trash, dining at Dunkin' Donuts, hanging out with Refrigerator John and running away to Philadelphia. With strong characterization of major and minor characters and a light, poetic touch, Spinelli deftly handles themes of friendship, family, loss and resilience in a story that will long linger in the hearts of readers. Elegant and memorable. (Fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly

In Spinelli's (Maniac Magee) latest novel, the Newbery Medalist falls slightly short of the high standard he's set in some of his previous books. The conceptually appealing story starts out with a bang as readers are introduced to David, a vulnerable nine-year-old boy whose mother died by slipping on wet pavement and falling down the stairs. He lives with his grandmother, whom he finds nagging and annoying, and his absent father, who is only around on weekends. One day while begrudgingly participating in a neighborhood Easter egg hunt with his grandmother, David stumbles upon 13-year-old Primrose under a pile of leaves—she is pretending to be dead. Coincidentally, her father is out of the picture as well, and she lives alone with her kooky, fortune-telling mother. David and Primrose become fast friends, sneaking out at night and generally ignoring their guardians. Whatever potential this “kids against the world” setup has quickly dissipates, unfortunately. The two befriend a crafty mechanic down the street named Refrigerator John, call each other names and run away from home a few times, but they don't do much else. While readers will likely get a kick out of David and Primrose's quirky behavior, they might also want to move beyond the kids' bickering into deeper, meatier territory, such as death, fear and healing—issues that clearly affect them both. While Spinelli does touch on these themes throughout, the attention given them seems only to scratch the surface. Ages 8-12. (June)

School Library Journal
Gr 48 Since David's mother died in a freak accident, the boy and his father have lived with David's grandmother in Pennsylvania. His father, who works in Connecticut, is gone all week, causing the nine-year-old to turn his grief and loneliness into anger directed at his grandmother. The symbolism of the title is apparent throughout the story, beginning when David sarcastically and rudely refuses to go to the annual Easter egg hunt in the park. Yet it is here that he meets Primrose Dufee, a quirky, equally lonely, and sarcastic 13-year-old girl whose glittery purple eyelids remind him of tiny birds' eggs. Primrose has defiantly moved into an abandoned van to separate herself from her childlike, eccentric fortune-teller mother. The two form a combative yet necessary relationship played out late at night when David sneaks out to help Primrose gather "junk" to sell at a flea market. Refrigerator John, Primrose's neighbor, serves as a safe, responsible, unassuming father figure, helping the youngsters understand themselves and sort through their losses. Spinelli's offbeat characters, wit, and unlikely circumstances are engaging yet the banter between David and Primrose and his rejection of his grandmother are at times extreme. Visual metaphors figure prominently in the multilayered plot while cracking the defensive shells built by these wounded young people. D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
Voice of Youth Advocates
It would be difficult to find a more unusual pair than David and Primrose. Nine-year-old David tries to follow every rule so that his mother will not be dead anymore. Thirteen-year-old Primrose lives in a van so that she will not have to share a tiny room with her fortune-teller mother. Their friendship is full of near-constant bickering, but somehow they each manage to fill in the missing pieces for each other. Spinelli uses the odd pairing of two youth with a four-year age difference to make his point about the meaning of other people in one's life. Although the characters have the typical Spinelli uniqueness, their actions tend to be predictable. The movement of the plot becomes attached to the little details of each character. David keeps a memento of his mother in his pocket and shows it to no one until at the end of the story when he shows it to Primrose. This book could be a comforting read for those who have had lost an essential person in their lives. It will certainly be a tough sell for some teens, but those with younger siblings might be able to relate to Primrose and David's situation.-Leslie Baker.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 CDT 2007)
Horn Book (Wed Aug 01 00:00:00 CDT 2007)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (Sun Jul 01 00:00:00 CDT 2007)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 32,391
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 114833 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.4 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q41287
Lexile: 540L
Guided Reading Level: U
Fountas & Pinnell: U

Eggs is a quirky and moving novel about two very complicated, damaged children. David has recently lost his mother to a freak accident, his salesman father is constantly on the road, and he is letting his anger out on his grandmother. Primrose lives with her unstable, childlike, fortuneteller mother, and the only evidence of the father she never knew is a framed picture. Despite their age difference (David is 9, Primrose is 13), they forge a tight yet tumultuous friendship, eventually helping each other deal with what is missing in their lives.

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