Milla, Violet, Yaz and Katie-Rose continue to charm; here’s hoping they have more hijinks in store.

READ REVIEW

OOPSY DAISY

From the Flower Power series , Vol. 3

The flower friends play matchmaker in Myracle’s (Violet in Bloom, 2010, etc.) third volume in the Flower Power series.

With last month’s Snack Attack behind them, fifth-graders Milla, Violet, Yasaman (Yaz) and Katie-Rose are ready to take on a new project. Milla’s teacher, Mr. Emerson, is goofy and charming, but he’s always telling the class that he has “no one to go home to accept a dust bunny named Maude.” Yaz adores her teacher, Ms. Perez, and knows that she’s looking for her “Mr. Right.” Yaz is positive they’d be perfect for one another, so the girls launch Plan Teacherly Lurve to set them up. But romance isn’t the only thing on the flower friends’ minds. Violet struggles to adjust to her mom’s return from a mental hospital; Milla wants to rescue a classmate from the clutches of mean girls Modessa and Quin; Yaz finds herself unexpectedly enrolled in trapeze lessons; and Katie-Rose worries that they’re growing up too fast—although a certain boy has caught her attention. Myracle perfectly captures the nuances of fifth-grade life, where stinky farts are another form of flirting and brownies can make everything better. Readers will certainly relate to the girls’ struggles to grow up but not leave childhood behind just yet.

Milla, Violet, Yaz and Katie-Rose continue to charm; here’s hoping they have more hijinks in store. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0019-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this...

HOLES

Sentenced to a brutal juvenile detention camp for a crime he didn't commit, a wimpy teenager turns four generations of bad family luck around in this sunburnt tale of courage, obsession, and buried treasure from Sachar (Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, 1995, etc.).

Driven mad by the murder of her black beau, a schoolteacher turns on the once-friendly, verdant town of Green Lake, Texas, becomes feared bandit Kissin' Kate Barlow, and dies, laughing, without revealing where she buried her stash. A century of rainless years later, lake and town are memories—but, with the involuntary help of gangs of juvenile offenders, the last descendant of the last residents is still digging. Enter Stanley Yelnats IV, great-grandson of one of Kissin' Kate's victims and the latest to fall to the family curse of being in the wrong place at the wrong time; under the direction of The Warden, a woman with rattlesnake venom polish on her long nails, Stanley and each of his fellow inmates dig a hole a day in the rock-hard lake bed. Weeks of punishing labor later, Stanley digs up a clue, but is canny enough to conceal the information of which hole it came from. Through flashbacks, Sachar weaves a complex net of hidden relationships and well-timed revelations as he puts his slightly larger-than-life characters under a sun so punishing that readers will be reaching for water bottles.

Good Guys and Bad get just deserts in the end, and Stanley gets plenty of opportunities to display pluck and valor in this rugged, engrossing adventure. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-374-33265-5

Page Count: 233

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

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