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WANTED...MUD BLOSSOM by Betsy Byars Kirkus Star


by Betsy Byars & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-30428-5
Publisher: Delacorte

A little like A Midsummer Night's Dream, this fifth romp with the Blossom clan flits lightly from amusing episode to hilarious set scene, the characters mixing, matching, and eventually sorting themselves out. Maggie and Ralphie (who now, with the help of his artificial limb, is bicycle-borne) are having a lovers' spat; old Mad Mary (the Vulture Lady, and Junior's best friend) has disappeared; Junior has the honor of keeping Scooty, the class hamster, for the weekend--but Mud, Pap's dog, seems to have eaten him and is now hiding under the porch while the distraught Junior vows vengeance; and Vern and his friend Michael form a sort of chorus with a perpetual case of uncontrollable giggles that they can quell only by thinking of a red joke. After one of the best trial scenes since Freddy the Detective (1932), with the jury turning out to be the culprit and the victim turning up happily unscathed, all is forgiven with just a few more delightfully comic twists. There's no reason to single out a best Blossom book--this is as funny as any, its wit nicely laced with pungent good sense. (Fiction. 8-12)