ROAD TRIP WITH MAX AND HIS MOM

A winsome story for readers newly transitioned to chapter books. (Fiction. 6-9)

Third-grader Max, who is still adjusting to his parents’ separation, is going on a road trip with his mom to a family reunion.

Max gets along well with both of his parents and is coming to understand their new, separate lifestyles in this sequel to Weekends with Max and His Dad (2016). That tale focused primarily on how Max interacted with his father; this story is much more about his relationship with his pragmatic mom. In addition to getting ready for the road trip, Max is carefully navigating a school assignment to portray his favorite character in a biography—in his case, explorer Ernest Shackleton. Max incorporates aspects of Shackleton’s adventures into his own, especially as he tours an amusement park with his newly encountered cousins and then decides not to ride the scary roller coaster. Even though he has come to accept his parents’ new situation, it doesn’t stop him from poignantly adding his father’s name to a family tree at the reunion, a warmhearted affirmation of his love for his whole family. Serene in its presentation of this common childhood issue, the calm portrayal extends to the attractive (and frequent) preliminary illustrations. Max’s family is white, but his teacher, Miss Maloof, is shown wearing a hijab.

A winsome story for readers newly transitioned to chapter books. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: April 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-80912-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

J.D. AND THE FAMILY BUSINESS

From the J.D. the Kid Barber series , Vol. 2

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D.

Breakout kid barber J.D. embraces a summer of opportunity.

Readers met J.D. Jones just as he took his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi, by storm, winning himself community acclaim and a chair at the revered Hart and Sons barbershop in series opener J.D. and the Great Barber Battle(2021). What’s next for the haircut prodigy? School’s just getting out, and there’s so much life happening outside—if only one can escape home learning with the grandparents. J.D.’s sister, Vanessa, brings along multitalented mutual friend Jessyka to share an ambitious challenge: “Let’s start a YouTube channel!” Can they get millions of views and wow the whole world? They are already amazing at haircuts and hairstyles—all they need is to learn how to make a great YouTube video. The story models strategies for scripting short videos reflecting the templates of viral YouTube hair tutorials, inviting readers to not only see the journey of the characters, but maybe also practice these skills at home. This book is bound to educate all about some of the most storied and cherished traditions within the Black community. Bringing in Vanessa is a great touch to extend the series across gender, and hopefully she’ll get a chance to lead her own adventures. This book blends skill-building, entrepreneurship, and strong family values to give young Black children visions of what’s possible when they follow their passions and embrace their community.

A strong second outing for Dillard and J.D. (Fiction. 6-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11155-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Categories:

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Close Quickview