4B GOES WILD by Jamie Gilson


Email this review


Svetlana Ivanovitch, the fourth-grade substitute teacher of Gilson's Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub, returns to help chaperone a three-day Outdoor Education outing, and some of the girls are sure that she and their teacher Mr. Star are planning marriage. (Molly is even jealous.) Narrator Hobie Hanson, though, is more concerned about his own parents breaking up--a wild idea he has picked up from some gossiping ladies at a school fair. He's also secretly afflicted with woolly-worms in his stomach at the thought of spending two nights away from home, and he notes with chagrin on the second night that even babyish Eugene, who cries during an electric storm and sleeps with a special blanket, seems to be adjusting better. (Without any elements much stronger, Eugene's progress has to be counted as one of the thin personal threads that hold the low-peaked incidents together.) Hobie's worries don't prevent him from entering into all the camp-like activities crammed into the short outing: a farm visit, another to a graveyard to make rubbings, games (the ones Miss Ivanovitch sets them to require cooperation, not competition), songs, skits, ghost stories, nature slides, and mischief after lights out. Hobie's biggest adventure occurs when he and friend Nick sneak off to the graveyard after midnight to make Miss Ivanovitch a rubbing (they accidentally ruined her perfect angel on the earlier visit); they don't meet any ghosts, but they do run into a skunk coming back. When the trip is over, the kids learn that Miss l's big news is not an engagement but an appointment as their next year's fifth-grade teacher; and Hobie learns that his father is in the hospital with gall stones but will be okay--better than a divorce for sure. It's breezy reading--if never very amusing or very involving or very anything.

Pub Date: Aug. 17th, 1983
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard