A grade school girl battles her fear of “staring eyeballs” in this fantastic series starter by debut author Lesko.
Lexi isn’t a fan of loud noises and hates when people stare at her, so she tells her music teacher that she’d rather skip recess than be in the school music program. When her mother informs her that she doesn’t actually have a choice (“This was breaking news,” Lexi tells readers), she tries to come up with another way to get out of the program. Her eventual plan: to catch a leprechaun. Although Lexi claims to have no imagination, she does claim to have superpowers: Sometimes, she says, her wishes come true; if she can just perfect her tornado twirls, she thinks, she’ll be able to turn invisible. Lexi has a remarkable narrative voice, and Lesko captures her anxieties and phobias beautifully; Winsor’s evocative black-and-white illustrations perfectly match Lesko’s tone. Children and parents may wonder just what sort of disorder Lexi has that sets her apart from her fellow students. For example, if she breaks the rules, she gets “the feeling of barf”; when she’s miserable and has “a feeling of ‘argh,’ ” she instinctively curls up under her desk and hides; and she seems to hear sounds louder than most other people. The book never provides a diagnosis, and readers may suspect Lexi would be hard to be friends with in real life. She’s a fascinating protagonist, however, and readers will enjoy her adventures and root for her to find a way out of the school program. Although her plans don’t always work out, her budding friendship with another student offers hope that she’ll have someone to lean on during future adventures.
An excellent chapter book that’s perfect for middle-grade fans of Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody series and other books featuring spirited female narrators.