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A well-known children's author takes on a trendy problem--a child pushed into overachievement by overachieving parents--and gives her plucky young heroine a novel solution. When Cally, 11, breaks her ankle, she anticipates a vacation from the grid of activities organized by her mother; although she must still do her homework and try to pull up her grades, she needn't go to dance or gymnastics. But just as she is luxuriating in her new free time, classmate Chuck talks ever-pliable Cally into helping him sell subscriptions to win a contest, thus introducing the idea of working for a private goal rather than parental approval. The idea is reinforced by a teacher who refuses homework done, however well, by parents. Cally is prompted to rethink some of her basic assumptions, and, for the first tune, to think for herself; major positive changes result. These lessons are obvious, but they are entertainingly taught; and even if the parents are broadly drawn, they are all too believable. Best, Cally solves her own problems with humorous ingenuity, keeping the reader with her all the way.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Macmillan