HOWIE BOWLES AND UNCLE SAM by Kate Banks

HOWIE BOWLES AND UNCLE SAM

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Banks’s erstwhile hero Howie returns, and this time he’s in hot water with Uncle Sam and the IRS. It’s a case of mistaken identity plus a dose of math-phobia, compounded by a pessimistic outlook, that adds up to a rib-tickling tale. The dispiriting revelation that he was born on Friday the Thirteenth leads Howie to conclude that, being predestined for a lifetime of bad luck, any attempt to overcome his math difficulties would be a fruitless endeavor. In this lugubrious state of mind, Howie receives a letter from the IRS declaring he made a calculation error and owes Uncle Sam over 100 dollars. The fine print threatening “penalty and imprisonment” looms large, so Howie frantically concocts various schemes to come up with the money. Intertwined with the main plot are amusing scenes from Howie’s home and school life; in the midst of his IRS-induced frenzy, Howie must cope with his new baby sister, plummeting math grades, and a whole host of situations that are sure to resonate with fellow school-age readers. Millman’s humorous, full-page, black-and-white drawings are liberally interspersed throughout. Brief chapters populated with likable characters make this an engaging follow-up to Howie Bowles, Secret Agent (1999). There are plenty of math jokes, both subtle and unrepentantly corny, included in the text and illustrations to keep readers laughing while they learn, along with Howie, the monumental importance of minding your numbers. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-35116-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000




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