RETURN TO GILL PARK

Living at home, Willy Wilson, 13, inherited owner of Gill Park, knows he cannot implement the posthumous wishes of millionaire Otto Pettingill. Willy misses his new baseball pals, “The Gorillas,” from last summer’s visit with Aunt Bridget. Now, failing miserably in school, he convinces his parents that returning to the city of Gloria to live with his aunt will afford him the opportunity to do better while attending the private and specialized Gill Park Gallery School, as well as to oversee the park’s vandalism issues. Gordon continues to add quirky unconventional characters in a new mystery/adventure sequel centered in an eccentric world within the limits of normal city life. Villains, thugs and good guys delineate themes of right vs. wrong behavior and responsibility, as Willy and his two good friends, Liesl and Gareth, work together to solve clues to a mysterious treasure hunt and uncover the real culprits behind the park destruction. Gordon adds an extra facet to her storyline with side elements of art and music history and a subplot involving a community children’s play. Intriguing, idiosyncratic and fun to read. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8234-1998-3

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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