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THIRD GRADE BABY by Jenny Meyerhoff


by Jenny Meyerhoff, illustrated by Jill Weber

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-37482-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Polly Peterson is dealing with a new school year, a demanding, teething baby brother and a science project that lets everyone in the class, even the nasty new boy, know that she has not lost any baby teeth yet. Luckily she has two loyal friends, a loose tooth and understanding parents and teacher. However, when the tooth fairy forgets to come, Polly makes a hard situation worse by lying about it on the playground. The third-person limited narration puts readers into Polly’s head as she immediately realizes saying the tooth fairy left her picture was a bad idea: “Polly’s words made her mouth feel all gummy...Why didn’t she just say a million dollars? That would be easier to get than a picture of the tooth fairy.” Mixed in with the humor are very real issues middle-grade readers will recognize, of bullying and the constant need to measure up. The realization that the bully has issues of his own will reassure readers even as it helps Polly achieve a new maturity. Weber’s fresh pencil illustrations add credibility to this school story. (Fiction. 6-8)