Books by Jerry Spinelli

THE WARDEN'S DAUGHTER by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Moving and memorable. (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
Perpetually angry, motherless Cammie O'Reilly, the warden's daughter, sets about turning Eloda Pupko, the silent, distant trustee working as "Cammie-keeper," into a mother figure over the summer she turns 13. Read full book review >
MAMA SEETON'S WHISTLE by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 14, 2015

"If nothing else, the book will make kids eager to practice whistling. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Lauren Bacall's quote about whistling is classic, but when it comes to puckering, no one tops Mama Seeton. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"A masterful, bittersweet recognition of coming-of-age. (Fiction. 10-13, adult)"
If childhood were a place…. Read full book review >
THIRD GRADE ANGELS by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Suds Morton is not yet a "Fourth Grade Rat." In this prequel to Spinelli's 1991 standby, he is a year younger and, according to his school's traditional chant, he aspires to the sobriquet of "Third Grade Angel." Read full book review >
JAKE AND LILY by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 8, 2011

"Double the feelings, double the fun. (Fiction. 8-12)"
As if growing up isn't hard enough, twins also have to face growing apart. Read full book review >
I CAN BE ANYTHING! by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2010

"An inspired take on a timeless question. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A young boy wonders aloud to a rabbit friend what he will be when he grows up and imagines some outrageous choices. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 13, 2009

"Less useful for library collections, this would make an excellent gift. (Nonfiction. 10 & up)"
The celebrated husband and wife team up to present a inspirational calendar book. Read full book review >
SMILES TO GO by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2008

"Stargirl would approve. (Fiction. 11-14)"
It all starts with the death of a proton. Read full book review >
LOVE, STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 14, 2007

"Those meeting Stargirl here for the first time will want to read the previous work to see if Leo is worthy of her devotion. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Fifteen-year-old Susan "Stargirl" Caraway has moved to Pennsylvania, but as independent and free-spirited as she is, she can't seem to let go of Arizona and her old boyfriend Leo Borlock. Read full book review >
EGGS by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2007

"Elegant and memorable. (Fiction. 8-12)"
It started with eggs—nine-year-old David on his way to an Easter egg hunt with his grandmother, 13-year-old Primrose living in an old Dodge van egged by local teenagers. Read full book review >
MILKWEED by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 9, 2003

"Stunning. (Fiction. 9-14)"
When the reader first meets the narrator of this tale, he knows himself only as "Stopthief." Read full book review >
MY DADDY AND ME by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 8, 2003

"Douglas Wood's What Dads Can't Do (2000). (Picture book. 5-7)"
Renowned novelist Spinelli (Loser, 2002, etc.) offers a healthy dose of hero worship in his picture-book debut. Read full book review >
LOSER by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2002

"A masterful character portrait; here's one loser who will win plenty of hearts. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Meet Joey Pigza's soulmate. Read full book review >
STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

"Once again Spinelli takes his readers on a journey where choices between the self and the group must be made, and he is wise enough to show how hard they are, even when sweet. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Newbery-winning Spinelli spins a magical and heartbreaking tale from the stuff of high school. Read full book review >
WRINGER by Jerry Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 30, 1997

"A story both comic and disturbing, this is lit by Palmer's growing courage and Dorothy's surprising loyalty. (Fiction. 9-11)"
The ghastliness of a local rite of passage gives this tale of a boy's inner battle between revulsion and his desire to fit in a whiff of Cormier—but with some belly laughs from Spinelli (The Library Card, p. 650, etc.) to lighten the load. Read full book review >
THE LIBRARY CARD by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1997

"Spinelli is a shrewd storyteller, balancing lighter moments with provocative ones to meaningful effect. (Fiction. 8-14)"
Spinelli (The Bathwater Gang Gets Down to Business, 1992, etc.) has spun four disparate stories linked through the inanimate object that appears in each—a library card. Read full book review >
THE BATHWATER GANG GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS by Jerry Spinelli
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"A minor effort. (Fiction. 7-9)"
In another lightweight "Springboard Book," Bertie of The Bathwater Gang (1990) organizes a dog-washing business in hopes of earning enough for circus tickets. Read full book review >
THERE'S A GIRL IN MY HAMMERLOCK by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 1991

"An entertaining look at genders in collision, junior-high style. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Eighth-grader Maisie Potter's motives for going out for wrestling are mixed: though she was designated last year's best athlete, she hasn't made the cheerleading squad; and ninth-grader Eric, whom she admires from afar, is on the team. Read full book review >
FOURTH GRADE RATS by Jerry Spinelli
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Hurwitz league. (Fiction. 7-10)"
The latest Newbery winner spins a funny, light story about a couple of boys who take to heart a familiar chant: "First grade babies!/Second grade cats!/Third Grade angels!/Fourth grade rats!" Read full book review >
THE BATHWATER GANG by Jerry Spinelli
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 1990

"The well-individualized characters in Johnson's lively drawings add to the appeal."
When Bertie tries to enliven the summer vacation by starting a "gang," everyone has an excuse not to join—even her best friend, whose mom is put off by the word (which was suggested by Bertie's lively Granny). Read full book review >
MANIAC MAGEE by Jerry Spinelli
FICTION
Released: April 2, 1990

"The metaphorical style is a brave change from the realism of Spinelli's other books, while fans of his earlier, tongue-in-cheek, streetwise tone will find it also an integral part of this story—ballast for the mythic, shifting picture of Maniac's year on the run."
An occasionally long-winded, but always affecting, parable-like story about racism and ignorance. Read full book review >
DUMP DAYS by Jerry Spinelli
Released: May 2, 1988

"Should provide readers with enough offbeat vignettes of slightly rundown suburban life to carry them through some dog days of their own."
Two sixth-grade boys plan a perfect vacation day, but the reality is somewhat different from their expectations. Read full book review >
WHO PUT THAT HAIR IN MY TOOTHBRUSH? by Jerry Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1984

Greg, 15, put that hair in the toothbrush of sister Megin, age twelve. Read full book review >
SPACE STATION SEVENTH GRADE by Jerry Spinelli
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 29, 1982

"This is not, then, as frivolous as it seems at first; but it is consistently zippy and bright—and all the better for not waving its colors prematurely."
Funny, close-to-the-source episodes from Jason's first year in junior high school, where his word for classroom is no longer hot, boring, or interesting, but safe—safe from the ninth graders who run the school and will pee on your sneaker if you're in their way at the urinal. Read full book review >