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CAMP FAMOUS

A quirky and fun summer read.

Abigail Herman spends a lot of time trying to figure out the mysterious rules of fifth grade friendship.

Everyone knows that you should tuck in your shirt before doing a cartwheel. Everyone, that is, except 11-year-old Abby. Just like she doesn’t know the words to the latest songs or the names of the characters on the popular TV shows her mom won’t let her watch. She thinks a fresh start at summer camp might be the answer to her friendship problems, and she has her sights set on Camp Longatocket, which her old babysitter reminisced about. But when her teacher, Ms. McIntyre, arranges for Abby to go to a camp run by her brother, it’s someplace completely different: Camp Famous, where the high-profile campers include a princess and a pop star. Being the only nonfamous kid makes her feel like an outsider, so Abby pretends to be a bestselling author to fit in. She can only be her true self when she’s writing in her fuzzy, green, sequined notebook and when she’s spending time with Oliver Frank, her classmate and fellow camper who promises to keep her secret—and has one of his own. This plot-driven, upbeat novel will have readers relating to Abby’s awkwardness while enjoying the fanciful situation in which she finds herself. At its heart, it’s a sweet story of friendship, being true to yourself, and finding common ground. Most characters default to White.

A quirky and fun summer read. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-314068-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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