For number lovers and phobics alike—this bighearted series has something for everyone.

ANNIKA RIZ, MATH WHIZ

From the Franklin School Friends series , Vol. 2

Annika loves numbers.

Annika and her friends each have their own special talents, and Annika’s is math. She looks forward to math class the way Kelsey loves reading and Izzy loves running. But while Annika likes reading and physical exercise, her buddies hate math. When others in the class do not know an answer or are daydreaming, Annika side-whispers the answer to help them out of a bind. Annika and fellow third-grade math whiz Simon are excited to learn that the library is running a sudoku contest, and Annika sets out to practice as much as she can. Mills keeps the situations light and amusing, inviting readers into Annika’s number-filled house, where the tablecloth is printed with numbers and the magnets on the refrigerator are numbers and even the dog is named Prime, and introducing them to Mr. Boone, the overenthusiastic principal who takes a seat in the carnival dunking booth. Shepperson’s black-and-white drawings extend the text nicely; kids will chuckle at the kitchen chaos as the girls make cookies for the bake sale and at the interruption-hating Mrs. Molina as she tries to control math class. Math lessons are embedded gracefully into the plot, making it an easy tie-in for teachers looking for accessible real-world math problems.

For number lovers and phobics alike—this bighearted series has something for everyone. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-30335-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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