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TARANTULA POWER! by Ann Whitehead Nagda


by Ann Whitehead Nagda & illustrated by Stephanie Roth

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1991-3
Publisher: Holiday House

Fourth-grader Richard is paired up with bully Kevin on a science project. Their challenge? Invent a new cereal—and make it nutritious! Of course, Richard ends up doing all the work and hating every “partner learning” moment. The project is not the only thing weighing on Richard’s mind. When Richard decides to protect one of the bully’s second-grade victims, he needs more than brawn. He needs cunning, an understanding of the bully brain and one bug-filled brownie. That teaches the lunch-stealing bully a lesson, but things get even more complicated after that. Small, too-infrequent pencil illustrations help move the story along. While the second grader, who refers to Kevin as “the bad guy” for entirely too long, seems unnaturally young and the anti-bully curricular connections too obvious, young readers might find a few valuable social strategies here. Readers who are ready for a new challenge after Jigsaw Jones will find this a comfortable fit. (Fiction. 7-9)