ALLERGIC TO MY FAMILY by Liza Ketchum Murrow
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Murrow's title will hook readers, but doesn't do full justice to this warmhearted story about an uproarious family with six children, living in a suburban canyon near L.A. Narrator Rosie Maxwell, fourth grader, is number two; her well-founded complaint is that no one pays attention to her. Capable and self-reliant, Rosie tends to get into trouble as the result of the unexpected repercussions of her good intentions, while their more laudable outcomes go unnoticed. For example, concerned that Silas, four, doesn't talk, Rosie doesn't tell anyone that his twin and interpreter, Katie, has been left behind at the beach, thus forcing Silas to speak for the first time--but also calling down her startled parents' wrath; another misunderstanding occurs when she sets out to find brother Dan, who has quietly moved himself from first to second grade (he can already read). Rosie finally gets credit for her quick wits and courage after a brush fire threatens the canyon: in their parents' absence, she organizes the other kids to hose down the house while she climbs the roof to put out sparks. Dividing the book into four inviting ""Parts,"" each with several chapters, Murrow deftly builds a consistent picture of this entire lively family in three amusing, self-contained episodes, then tells a satisfyingly suspenseful story about how her well-established characters cope with the fire. Welcome, Maxwells! Come back soon.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1992
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Holiday House