Next book


A one-footed ex-thief and a homeless orphan with a ruined hand figure prominently in this ambitious tale of a town that unites to rebuild a clipper ship. Some say that Yole lies under a curse, sitting as it does on the infertile bed of a berry-blue sea that was drained generations ago by land speculators. In any case, it’s never amounted to much—until ne’er-do-well Nacky and young Teedie Flinn find 40,000 pieces of teak floating in the local (berry-blue) lake, and persuade the impoverished townsfolk to undertake the seemingly pointless task of fitting them all together. There are obstacles aplenty to overcome—notably the schemes of rapacious landlord Mally Baloo—but overcome they are, and though things don’t work out quite as planned, by the end Nacky’s in love, injustices have been corrected and Yole has become a workers’ paradise. There isn’t much here to hook young readers; more a prose stylist than a storyteller, Kluger salts his narrative with fanciful names and words. The pace ambles, he pays more attention to the adult characters and he blithely disregards internal logic to trot in convenient solutions to every problem. A noble effort, but may struggle to find an audience. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: June 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-399-24604-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

Next book


Fans of Cameron’s Huey and Julian stories (More Stories Huey Tells, 1997, etc.) are in for a treat as Gloria, their friend from those tales, gets a book of her own and graciously allows the two brothers to share it . In the first tale, Gloria makes a wonderful card for her mother, but the wind blows it away and it ends up in the cage of a cantankerous parrot. Thanks to Mr. Bates, Huey and Julian’s dad, the day is saved, as is the burgeoning friendship that Gloria and the boys have struck up with new neighbor Latisha in the story, “The Promise.” In another story, Gloria has to deal with a huge problem—fractions—and this time it’s her dad who helps her through it. Mr. Bates proves helpful again when the group trains an “obsessed” puppy, while Gloria’s mother is supportive when Gloria is unintentionally hurt by her three best friends. The stories are warm and funny, as Gloria, a spunky kid who gets into some strange predicaments, finds out that her friends and wise, loving adults are good to have around when trouble beckons. Great fun, with subtly placed, positive messages that never take center stage. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 9, 2000

ISBN: 0-374-32670-3

Page Count: 93

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

Next book


There is something profoundly elemental going on in Smalls’s book: the capturing of a moment of unmediated joy. It’s not melodramatic, but just a Saturday in which an African-American father and son immerse themselves in each other’s company when the woman of the house is away. Putting first things first, they tidy up the house, with an unheralded sense of purpose motivating their actions: “Then we clean, clean, clean the windows,/wipe, wipe, wash them right./My dad shines in the windows’ light.” When their work is done, they head for the park for some batting practice, then to the movies where the boy gets to choose between films. After a snack, they work their way homeward, racing each other, doing a dance step or two, then “Dad takes my hand and slows down./I understand, and we slow down./It’s a long, long walk./We have a quiet talk and smile.” Smalls treats the material without pretense, leaving it guileless and thus accessible to readers. Hays’s artwork is wistful and idyllic, just as this day is for one small boy. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-316-79899-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

Close Quickview