"I grew giant pumpkins because I liked battle, and growing one was an everyday fight. You had to be in it for the long haul. Rain, frost, bugs, and fungus could strike at any time and stop you dead. Only certain growers are cut out to handle this pressure ..." Ellie pg. 6 Squashed
In Me & the Pumpkin Queen, Eleven year old Mildred lives just outside of Columbus, Ohio and is determined to win first place at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. Mildred's mom, who died of cancer when Mildred was six, was Pumpkin Queen of the festival when she was in High School and had always wanted to try and grow giant pumpkins, so Mildred decided shortly after her mom died the she would try and grow the giant magical vegetables herself.
In Squashed, Sixteen year old Ellie lives just outside Des Moines, Iowa and is determined to win first place at the Rock River Weigh-In and Harvest Festival. Ellie's mom, who died in a car accident when Ellie was eight, had a knack for growing things and Ellie seemed to have the same knack.
Both girls are up against much older growers with more experience, plus they have to deal with the weather, rodents, over excited dogs, relatives who don't think growing giant pumpkins is a good hobby for young ladies and even pumpkin thieves. But after years of hard work can Mildred and Ellie overcome all the obstacles and prove to their families, their competitors and themselves that they have what it takes to grow the biggest pumpkin?
It's too late in the year to start growing your own pumpkin, giant or not, but with Halloween right around the corner it's time to create our own pumpkins masterpieces. Look at these web-sites to find different fun, and scary, ways to carve and decorate your pumpkins:
Zombie Pumpkins - http://www.marthastewart.com/852746/undead-pumpkins
Vampire Pumpkins - http://www.marthastewart.com/852771/fanged-pumpkins
Monster Pumpkins - http://www.bhg.com/halloween/pumpkin-carving/monster-pumpkins/
Pumpkins with masks - http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/halloween-ideas/halloween-pumpkin-masks-oct07
Or turn a pumpkin into one of your favorite storybook characters!