With pluck and community spirit, the Raccoon River Kids get it done—another winner.

READ REVIEW

ZOOAPALOOZA IN THE PARK

From the Raccoon River Kids Adventures series , Vol. 3

The can-do kids of Raccoon River help find a home for a stray dog.

First grader Lili Tucker has found a dog—or as she puts it to third grader Brandon, who walks with her to elementary school each morning, “a dog found me.” Not telling her parents, because her mother doesn’t like dogs, Lili hides “Spunky” in the shed and asks Brandon to help her figure out what to do. Brandon enlists the help of his friends, the very competent Hannah and Nico, and another Raccoon River adventure begins. As in Blueberry Bonanza (2017) and Extravaganza at the Plaza (2018), the children brainstorm to achieve a goal—this time to find Spunky a home. There are setbacks, but the kids persevere with spirit and determination, involving their community, and eventually all turns out even better than they’d hoped. Newcomer Lili joins Hannah, Nico, and Brandon, whom readers are familiar with from previous books. Earnest and plucky, Lili is a treasure—a perfect fit for author Wohl’s direct, uncomplicated, dryly funny writing. Illustrator Tuchman’s black-and-white spot illustrations are straightforwardly just right, breaking up the text visually for young readers. Hannah, Nico, Brandon, and Lili are shown as white, while other people illustrated have darker skin tones, and one mother-daughter pair are shown wearing hijab.

With pluck and community spirit, the Raccoon River Kids get it done—another winner. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-943978-43-4

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Persnickety Press

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the...

CHARLIE BUMPERS VS. THE TEACHER OF THE YEAR

From the Charlie Bumpers series , Vol. 1

Charlie Bumpers is doomed. The one teacher he never wanted in the whole school turns out to be his fourth-grade teacher.

Charlie recalls third grade, when he accidentally hit the scariest teacher in the whole school with his sneaker. “I know all about you, Charlie Bumpers,” she says menacingly on the first day of fourth grade. Now, in addition to all the hardships of starting school, he has gotten off on the wrong foot with her. Charlie’s dry and dramatic narrative voice clearly reveals the inner life of a 9-year-old—the glass is always half empty, especially in light of a series of well-intentioned events gone awry. It’s quite a litany: “Hitting Mrs. Burke in the head with the sneaker. The messy desk. The swinging on the door. The toilet paper. And now this—the shoe on the roof.” Harley has teamed once again with illustrator Gustavson (Lost and Found, 2012) to create a real-life world in which a likable kid must face the everyday terrors of childhood: enormous bullies, looming teachers and thick gym coaches with huge pointing fingers. Into this series opener, Harley magically weaves the simple lesson that people, even teachers, can surprise you.

Readers will be waiting to see how Charlie faces his next challenge in a series that marks a lovely change of pace from the sarcasm of Wimpy Kid. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56145-732-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more