Books by Alice DeLaCroix

THE BEST HORSE EVER by Alice DeLaCroix
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 2010

For nine-year-old Abby, owning a horse—her OWN horse—is a certified dream come true. Griffin is steady and dependable, and Abby's ridden him in riding lessons many times. Still, taking care of him by herself proves to be a big step up from helping to care for the family's elderly small pony, Marshmallow. DeLaCroix is a dab hand at understanding issues from a third-grader's point of view, and she shows Abby's realistic struggles, joys and fears. But her pacing is uneven. The magical moment when Abby is allowed to get a horse is reduced to one passive voice line: "Griffin was to be Abby's." The conflict between Abby and her friend, Devon, who's afraid of Griffin, feels somewhat forced and incidental to the story of Abby learning to cope with her new role as horse owner. Himler's pencil illustrations are lovely, as always. Despite its small faults, its heart is true, and this book will please every hopeful, horse-loving third-grade girl who picks it up. (Fiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
HOW TO SURVIVE A TOTALLY BORING SUMMER by Alice DeLaCroix
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 15, 2007

Randall has just finished third grade and is about to experience his first summer in Rushport since his parents' divorce. He likes to keep busy and is not finding much to do in his new neighborhood until he and his only friend Max decide to start a chess club. The club is a friendship-making catalyst for Randall until an older man takes over the park chess table and the class bully threatens to ruin the nice community they have built together. Subtle subplots add depth to this tale for early readers. When Mrs. Mick, Randall's older neighbor and babysitter, loses her parrot, the summer gets a little more interesting. When the parrot, whose only words are "love ya, gorgeous," becomes a matchmaker, middle-grade readers will see that friends can come in all ages. Judy Moody and Stink fans will not be bored with this offering. (Fiction. 8-11)Read full book review >
HOW TO SURVIVE A TOTALLY BORING SUMMER by Alice DeLaCroix
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 15, 2007

Randall has just finished third grade and is about to experience his first summer in Rushport since his parents' divorce. He likes to keep busy and is not finding much to do in his new neighborhood until he and his only friend Max decide to start a chess club. The club is a friendship-making catalyst for Randall until an older man takes over the park chess table and the class bully threatens to ruin the nice community they have built together. Subtle subplots add depth to this tale for early readers. When Mrs. Mick, Randall's older neighbor and babysitter, loses her parrot, the summer gets a little more interesting. When the parrot, whose only words are "love ya, gorgeous," becomes a matchmaker, middle-grade readers will see that friends can come in all ages. Judy Moody and Stink fans will not be bored with this offering. (Fiction. 8-11)Read full book review >
THE HERO OF THIRD GRADE by Alice DeLaCroix
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

Another transferring-to-a-new-school story for young readers. Randall has moved near the end of the school year. Worries that haunt all third graders also follow him around. How will he fit in? Will he make friends with those who've had the whole year to bond? The narrative reveals that Randall's parents have recently divorced, but he seems much more concerned about school. Only one phone call to Dad lets readers know that Randall even gives that usually traumatic situation a second thought. He's too wrapped up in his role as a secret hero. Randall has just watched a movie called The Scarlet Pimpernel and decides that he will be like the hero of the movie and leave little secret notes of encouragement for his classmates. A classmate drops his homework and Russell secretly retrieves it and leaves a note, stamped with an ink rose that he happens to keep in his desk. A girl cries because she does not get her choice for a class project and Russell drops a note on her desk. One might forgive the saccharine situations if the characters read like children about to enter the fourth grade, but they don't. A puffin Beanie Baby? Wailing tears when someone chooses the same tree to study? Secret notes with a rose, stamped by a boy? Nosy third graders would figure that out in a few seconds, if they cared. They would notice the presence of a red ink pad very quickly, especially in the desk of a new student. Setting the scene in a younger class—say, the end of first grade—would have made a lot more sense. Young readers looking for the next chapter book will find this just marginally acceptable. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >