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ISABELLA’S ABOVE-GROUND POOL by Alice Mead

ISABELLA’S ABOVE-GROUND POOL

By Alice Mead (Author) , Maryann Cocca-Leffler (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: May 10th, 2006
ISBN: 0-374-33617-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Unhappy about the move that forces her to share a trailer bedroom with her two-year-old brother, third-grader Isabella Speedwalker-Juarez adopts a new motto, “I WON’T SHARE ’CUZ IT’S NOT FAIR.” Not surprisingly, this irritates her new friend Deborah, her new schoolmates and her little brother. But the adults around her deal gently with her anger, Zach, the fix-it man next door, models the opposite behavior and a tornado leaves others with more serious needs. Isabella learns about tradeoffs, uses the carwash money that was supposed to go toward a swimming pool to help a schoolmate’s family and discovers the important difference between enforced sharing and voluntary sharing. Gently humorous—especially in unusual names of the citizens of Center Longnose, TX—but there’s a strong moral undertone. Twelve lively cartoon-style drawings, reproduced in grey scale, illustrate Izzy’s family and a racially diverse set of classmates. The direct, uncomplicated prose and familiar vocabulary will add to the appeal of this transitional story for middle-grade readers who will surely recognize Izzy’s conflicted feelings. (Fiction. 7-10)