MELONHEAD AND THE BIG STINK

Melonhead is as irrepressible as ever in his second outing (Melonhead, 2009). Out of fourth grade for the summer, his escapades pile up with duckling rescues gone awry, a black-paint disaster and more. Melonhead and his best friend Sam want to visit New York to view the bunga bangkai (otherwise known as the “corpse flower”) that only blooms for two days every seven years. To earn the trip they try hard to behave. A fateful game of “fenceball” lands Melonhead in the doghouse, though, when he destroys the elderly Mrs. Wlkins’s treasured plant. His punishment is to be her helper, but an affinity develops as Melonhead learns about her fascinating past. Meanwhile, Melonhead strikes up a friendship with a teenager but finds that isn’t quite what it seems. When events conspire to dash everyone’s hopes, forces come together in a shining example of how one good deed begets another. The clever dialogue sparkles, and Johnson’s blithe sketches add to the cheerful mood. A breezy and humorous middle-grade tale that illuminates the value of intergenerational relationships. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 8, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-73658-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more