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GLORIA RISING by Ann Cameron

GLORIA RISING

By Ann Cameron (Author) , Lis Toft (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: March 21st, 2002
ISBN: 0-374-32675-4
Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Having made it her mission to impart life information to middle-graders, Cameron brings Julian’s friend Gloria (Gloria’s Way, 2000) to the forefront once again for a series of edifying encounters. After the woman in line behind her in the store, who turns out to be former astronaut Dr. Grace Street, fills her head with starry visions and lectures her on negative thinking, Gloria heads to fourth grade. There bully—er, Billy Watkins gets her in trouble, and her burned-out teacher, Priscilla “Dragon of Doom” Yardley, decides that she’s a liar for claiming to have met an astronaut. Ultimately, Gloria gets to see Dr. Street visit the class, to deliver another inspirational lecture, and to set Mrs. Yardley straight, then screws up her courage to climb Old Rocket, the biggest pine tree in the park, to reflect on big things, little things, and mastering fear. Toft’s penciled portraits capture Gloria’s pigtailed likability nicely; Cameron’s crisply direct advice, all of which is right on, ranges from practical items like never looking directly at the sun, to profound character-building insights—and the learning goes on in an author’s note citing Internet resources about space exploration. “Live and Learn” is the unstated theme, and by the end, readers will have a sense of what makes even Mrs. Yardley and Billy tick. (Fiction. 7-9)