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From the Lupe Lopez series

A winning primer on how to rock reading.

Miniature rock star Lupe Lopez takes on her next big battle—reading!

Start a band in kindergarten? Done that! Now it’s the first day of first grade at Hector P. Garcia Elementary School, and our protagonist, whom readers may remember from Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! (2022), is ready. Her goal for the year? Become a Reading Rock Star. With her pencil drumsticks in hand and pals beside her, Lupe swaggers into class prepared to read. Her first attempt at reading in class…doesn’t go too well. Worse yet, Victor Valdez (who’s totally in Group B and not Group A for Awesome like Lupe) seizes every opportunity to embarrass Lupe. It sure seems like “the worst day a first-grader ever had at Hector P. Garcia Elementary.” The following day, Ms. Moreno shares a sweet secret with a crestfallen Lupe: “Reading is like music.” Aha! Before long, Lupe bangs out to the beat of reading, one step closer to her rock star dream. A delightful romp, Lupe’s latest adventure leaps off the page with a “¡BOOM-TICA-BAM!” The authors bolster Lupe’s infectious sass even further, serving up the humorous melodrama that boosts her eventual comeback song. Hector P. Garcia Elementary remains a community of primarily brown-skinned, Latine-cued students and teachers, with a few words in Spanish sprinkled throughout. The artwork favors bold blues, lush purples, and creamy pinks, veering from solid swaths to fizzy bursts as Lupe ascends from reluctant reader to Reading Rock Star. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A winning primer on how to rock reading. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 13, 2023

ISBN: 9781536209556

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023

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It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

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

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. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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