Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CLARICE BEAN SPELLS TROUBLE by Lauren Child

CLARICE BEAN SPELLS TROUBLE

By Lauren Child

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2813-1
Publisher: Candlewick

As utterly herself as ever, Clarice Bean Tuesday returns, to chatter on while riding an emotional roller coaster to close out her school year. Along with wondering what’s up with classmate Karl Wrenbury (who’s acting out in response to family problems), and earning a suspension by taking the rap for one of his misdeeds, she has many more issues. She frets about an upcoming spelling bee; continues to dote on her book/TV heroine Ruby Redfort; ruminates on what it takes to be a good writer; gets and loses the role of Liesl in a class production of The Sound of Music; and records typically droll doings in her extended family, along with encounters with teachers good and bad—her regular one, Mrs. Wilberton, being a painfully vivid example of the latter. Child kicks Clarice Bean’s already vivacious narrative up a notch with lots of small, quick ink sketches, typeface changes and polysyllabic study words (some of them made up), then closes on a delirious high note as Clarice unexpectedly lands a bit part opposite Ruby Redfort herself. Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones fans will happily dive into the observations of this “exceptionordinarily” entertaining middle-grader. (Fiction. 8-10)