Books by Constance Hiser

DOG ON THIRD BASE by Constance Hiser
Released: Dec. 15, 1991

The only place the fourth-grade gang (No Bean Sprouts, Please!, 1989) can practice for their baseball game with the fifth graders is a vacant lot next to Mrs. Abernathy's house and garden. Besides worrying about keeping the ball out of her yard, they dread another confrontation with class bully Mean Mitchell and his vicious dog; they also need to find a replacement for third base. Reluctantly, James puts his dog Tag on third, only to have him disappear with the ball after it hits him. Following a fruitless search, they return to the lot and nemesis Mean Mitchell. In a satisfying reversal of fortune, Mrs. Abernathy appears with a cookie-sated Tag and takes Mean Mitchell in tow after he breaks her kitchen window. Lightweight fare, but the gang members are loyal and caring and the plot moves briskly along. A satisfactory choice for readers just moving into chapter books. Ewing's b&w drawings quietly add ethnic diversity to the group. (Fiction. 7-10) Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1991

In a sequel to No Bean Sprouts, Please! (1989), James and his friends do battle with Mean Mitchell, the school bully. After being punched in the mouth, James vows revenge and concocts an elaborate plan to frighten his nemesis in the local haunted house. On Halloween, he and his friends plan to play a series of tricks—only to be terrified by extra, unexpected ghostly events. It's plucky T.J. who confronts Mean Mitchell, who has discovered their intentions and tried to outsmart them; in coming to her rescue, James finds a way to get back at the bully after all. Characterization is rudimentary, but the story moves briskly, carried by snappy dialogue and its appealing, if pedestrian, events. Smith's pleasantly slapdash drawings fit right in. Fans who enjoyed James's previous adventures will not be disappointed. (Fiction. 8-10) Read full book review >