Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes, Haddad's first book introduces an outrageously original heroine--a Ramona for the millennium. Calliope has several problems. Ever since her father died and her mother had to get a job, Calliope has been stuck in the after-school program (dubbed ASP) when she'd rather be at home, alone; her teacher confiscated her pink vampire teeth; and the police are trying to confiscate her rabbit, Mortimer. Calliope is resourceful: She holds off the police, and sneaks out of the ASP whenever she wants. Getting the teeth back, however, is tougher, and Calliope enlists a cranky old neighbor and suspected witch, Mrs. Blatherhom. But charming her way into Mrs. Blatherhom's life is the solution to more than just the teeth problem. The author has Cieary's knack for getting inside his heroine's head during her most absurd moments, making her actions almost reasonable. Scenes such as the one in which Calliope tries to suck an ant out of Mrs. Blatherhom's nose with a dustbuster, or when she insists the policemen handcuff her, and later whacks the chief with his nightstick, will have readers in fits. The humor of the text is perfectly matched by the exaggerated black-and-white cartoons in this very funny debut.