I SMELL LIKE HAM by Betty Hicks

I SMELL LIKE HAM

Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Eleven-year-old Nick has to go to school smelling like the cloves his new stepmother puts into the shampoo, and that’s just the beginning in this humorous yet true-to-life portrayal of family blending and sixth-grade angst. Nick’s mom died two years ago, and even though he’s always wanted a baby brother, he’s less than thrilled when his Dad marries Miriam and she and nerdy third-grader Dwayne move in. Concurrently, Nick’s trying to figure out his place on the basketball team (teammate Carson Jones seems to have locked up the starting point-guard position) and among his own friends. Not only is Carson a threat on the court, he challenges Nick and even Dwayne to try cigarettes on Halloween and lies to the coach about missing a practice. Caught between his newfound responsibility for Dwayne and his own attempts to fit in despite his anger at his friends, Nick must finesse many familiar scenarios: peer pressure, competing for a spot on the team, and negotiating difficult family relations. Nick is a realistic, likable “tween,” neither too squeaky-clean nor an unregenerate troublemaker. First-novelist Hicks gives Dwayne, Miriam, and Dad enough dimensions to avoid creating the familiar stereotypes of the pesky baby brother, evil stepmother, and out-of-touch Dad, which is refreshing. The turning point for Nick nicely completes the story: Dwayne disappears, and Nick figures out where he is. Especially satisfying is the beginning of a real relationship between the two boys, forged while they’re on their own until Nick’s able to convince Dwayne to come home. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7613-1748-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002




MORE BY BETTY HICKS

ChildrenTHE WORM WHISPERER by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks
ChildrenBASKETBALL BATS by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks
ChildrenGET REAL by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks