THE WORM WHISPERER by Betty Hicks

THE WORM WHISPERER

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

Animal-obsessed Ellis Coffey hopes his pet woolly caterpillar will win the race at the Banner Elk Woolly Worm Festival and its $1,000 purse so he can pay the deductible for his father’s back surgery.

Money is tight in Ellis' family, and the fourth-grader has more than the usual worries and responsibilities. He helps out a lot at home, but he still has time to explore the woods behind the family's blueberry farm in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains. That’s where he finds the caterpillar he names Tink. Feeding her, dealing with her excrement (which, he learns, is called frass) and keeping her safe are some of the challenges he faces in this unusual pet story. Readers can’t help but admire this boy who is trying so hard to be helpful. At school, his teacher describes him as “class-clown-but-with-brains” and encourages his interest in new words. There is humor in Ellis’ efforts to keep Tink hidden on an outing to church and plenty of suspense right up to the race itself. And then there’s the question: Can Ellis really talk to animals like Mrs. Puckett, the horse whisperer?

A satisfying ending neatly wraps up this warm story, and Hatke’s occasional line drawings will add appeal for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 9-12)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59643-490-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2012




MORE BY BETTY HICKS

ChildrenBASKETBALL BATS by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks
ChildrenGET REAL by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks
ChildrenOUT OF ORDER by Betty Hicks
by Betty Hicks

MORE BY BEN HATKE

ChildrenTHE RETURN OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke
by Ben Hatke
ChildrenLEGENDS OF ZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke
by Ben Hatke
ChildrenZITA THE SPACEGIRL by Ben Hatke
by Ben Hatke

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenINVISIBLE INKLING by Emily Jenkins
by Emily Jenkins
ChildrenLEAP, FROG by Jane Cutler
by Jane Cutler
ChildrenMELONHEAD by Katy Kelly
by Katy Kelly