A sure hit.

READ REVIEW

THE LOST TREASURE OF TUCKERNUCK

Laurie does not want to be a Tuckernuck Clucker. Her plan: Stay long enough to solve the puzzle posed by the school’s founder, reap the promised treasure, then transfer to Hamilton Junior High.

Laurie is embarrassed by the Clucker regalia (chicken hats!). Worse, she is paired as Gerbil Monitor with Bud, the outcast who had sugary treats banned from school. It is while chasing an escaped gerbil that Laurie and Bud discover the first clue in the 80-year-old challenge. While the premise is familiar, children will delight in the over-the-top treatment and fresh delivery. The third-person narration indulges the comical, self-involved dramas of preteens. Nor are Laurie and Bud especially interested in the clues’ highbrow references. After asking a teacher about Keats, Laurie assures him: “No, it’s fine, I don’t need to study him.” Readers also find tips from Laurie on “How to Elude a Persistent and Overeager English Teacher,” which include “Make excuses and back away slowly.” Other lists, notes and emails are interspersed throughout, providing more insight into the characters and background for the story. Most poignant is the relationship revealed between Bud and his father. That Laurie and Bud will solve the puzzle is a given. The real thrill is how the characters begin to discover and determine their own futures as they go through the process.

A sure hit. (Mystery. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-211890-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

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THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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