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THE DOWN AND UP FALL by Johanna Hurwitz


by Johanna Hurwitz & illustrated by Gail Owens

Age Range: 8 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-688-14568-X
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

 The fourth book in a series that includes The Up & Down Spring (1993), about three friends--Bolivia, Rory, and Derek--now in middle school. Bolivia's parents are in Turkey for six months, so she stays with her aunt and uncle in the New Jersey town where Rory and Derek live. Bolivia wants to get to know other people, but Rory is possessive and jealous. He seems to want to force her to choose, but Bolivia is just as determined to keep her old friends and make new ones as well. This book is full of enthusiastic, well-behaved, helpful, obedient, and kind children, who are ``looking forward to taking the bus'' and think ``Middle School is going to be neat.'' In other words, it's a fantasy at worst and insipid at best, lacking real people in whom readers can take an interest, or a real plot to keep the pages turning. Even an appearance by Aldo doesn't bring this one up to Hurwitz's usually charming standard. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 8+)