NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD
"This movie demonstrates a nice theme of perseverance and
RASPBERRY MAGIC + Special Features
This version of the DVD is for educational use in the classroom or for public and institutional library collections. Restricted to classroom viewings specifically connected to a teaching/learning activity in which all viewers (teacher and students) are involved, or to library loans to individuals for home viewing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOOL LIBARAY JOURNAL: Gr 5-8–Eleven-year-old Monica Shah (effectively portrayed by Lily Javaherpour) lives in a modest California home with her parents and younger, rather precocious sister. Her parents have been arguing over money, and both adults fall apart after her father loses his job and her mother’s book deal falls through. It’s Monica who acts like the grown-up in the family trying to cope with her parents’ behavior and continue to do well in school. When Monica’s science project—stimulating the growth of raspberry bushes with touch—is sabotaged by an overly competitive classmate, a determined Monica starts it again in the safety of a rich forest near her home. As her family problems grow, the raspberry project becomes increasingly important to her. She becomes convinced that if her raspberries thrive, her family will reconcile. This affecting film reveals a quiet story of family, friendship, and growing up. The resolution is dramatic and touching, though a bit contrived. This fine film could be used to generate discussions about ethics, diversity (Monica’s family is Indian), competition, and family dynamics.–Maria Salvadore, formerly Washington DC Public Library
BOOKLIST ONLINE: This coming-of-age drama centers on 11-year-old Monica Shah, the daughter of Indian immigrants whose family is experiencing difficult financial and personal issues. Monica believes she can keep her family together if her school science project wins first prize. Her experiment involves using touch therapy to grow raspberries, with the nature-nurture metaphor running throughout the film. Starring Lily Javaherpour as earnest, well-meaning Monica, the story features a cast of capable supporting actors who move the plot forward. The well-intentioned and doting dad loses his job, and the loving mom’s freelance writing career takes a dive, precipitating a round of immobilizing depression. The somewhat predictable story winds its way to a heartwarming conclusion in the style of an after-school special. With a bit of raspberry magic, Monica wins the day (albeit not the science fair), proving that unconditional love and dogged determination are the right ingredients for success.