IT’S ME, PIPPA!
Sixth in the Hetty Series
It’s the first day of summer vacation. Ten-year-old Pippa walks up behind where her Aunt Freydis is sitting, and upon touching her lightly, Freydis falls over dead.
Pippa thinks she killed her.
Her twelve-year-old uncle and best friend fears Pippa will be put in jail, so he hides her in an abandoned truck. Cowering inside is an abused dog she names Rosie.
Two thugs drive the truck away with her locked in it, and their destination is a dangerous dog-fighting venue. Pippa suspects her grandparents’ unusual chauffeur, Ignatz, is responsible but later learns he has been protecting her. She wants to make amends for doubting him. Adding further to Pippa’s remorse––Ignatz cared deeply for Freydis, who was like a wise grandmother to him.
Pippa’s parents are both in Washington, where her father is serving as a congressman. In their absence Ignatz relishes the challenge of being a surrogate parent to the spunky Pippa.
Pippa thinks she sees her report card in the mail. Through the envelope she reads the word responsible. Is it criticism? Praise? Whichever it is, she is determined to earn the label fair and square, while her parents are gone. In the dictionary, Pippa finds Resplendent on the same page. That word sounds even better! Her avowed goal for the summer is to be so responsible that she ends up resplendent.
This effort calls for a list of goals. Among them are: to improve Ignatz’s manners and speech; to spark a romance between her reluctant teacher and Ignatz; to win a youth beauty contest (with help from beauty queen Katrinka Wallace); to use the prize money to buy makeup so her teacher will be beautiful and Ignatz will fall in love with her and she won’t be lonesome anymore; to get Katrinka and her husband reconciled so he’ll take her to Australia and stop all this beauty stuff; to teach Rosie [I thought Rosie died] circus tricks; and to get revenge on Mo Murphy for being a bully.
At first, Pippa’s manipulative goals are disastrous failures. But then she reshapes her priorities to make them kind and thoughtful. The outcome is better than she hoped. Motivated by instinctive kindness and unselfish love, she finally feels resplendent.