Whether these live up to the subtitle’s claim of “funniest stories ever” is subjective, but the lighthearted array will...

FUNNY GIRL

FUNNIEST. STORIES. EVER.

The 28 short stories, autobiographical essays, and comic strips in this entertaining anthology are meant to prove that females can be funny, and they succeed.

Librarian and blogger Bird has gathered contributions from a stellar group of female children’s and teen writers and illustrators, including Rita Williams-Garcia, Jennifer Holm, and Shannon Hale, plus a few professional comedians who give advice on crafting and delivering jokes. Variety abounds, encompassing Lenore Look’s pun-filled Chinese zodiac, Mitali Perkins’ “Brown Girl Pop Quiz” of multiple-choice questions, and Raina Telgemeier’s comic strip “Attack of the Killer Bee.” Among the standouts are Carmen Agra Deedy’s first-person account of the time her mother set a bathtub on fire to rid it of germs and Libba Bray’s “Public Service Announcement About Your Period” from a witty 12-year-old girl who objects to the secrecy surrounding the subject. A handful of other entries also deal with girl-specific topics such as bra shopping, and nearly all the stories and reminiscences focus on girls. Boys will also enjoy the humor, which ranges from slapstick to subtle. Brief biographical notes about the contributors conclude the volume.

Whether these live up to the subtitle’s claim of “funniest stories ever” is subjective, but the lighthearted array will surely appeal to a wide audience. (Anthology. 9-13)

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-451-47731-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)

   

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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90 MILES TO HAVANA

After Castro’s takeover, nine-year-old Julian and his older brothers are sent away by their fearful parents via “Operation Pedro Pan” to a camp in Miami for Cuban-exile children. Here he discovers that a ruthless bully has essentially been put in charge. Julian is quicker-witted than his brothers or anyone else ever imagined, though, and with his inherent smarts, developing maturity and the help of child and adult friends, he learns to navigate the dynamics of the camp and surroundings and grows from the former baby of the family to independence and self-confidence. A daring rescue mission at the end of the novel will have readers rooting for Julian even as it opens his family’s eyes to his courage and resourcefulness. This autobiographical novel is a well-meaning, fast-paced and often exciting read, though at times the writing feels choppy. It will introduce readers to a not-so-distant period whose echoes are still felt today and inspire admiration for young people who had to be brave despite frightening and lonely odds. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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