ANASTASIA AT YOUR SERVICE

Another amusing visit with Anastasia Krupnik, new 12 and in desperate need of money (for what is not said). So Anastasia advertises herself as a companion—but, to her horror, the rich old lady who hires her puts her to work as a maid instead. And as site mangles a spoon in the disposal on the first day, she can't quit until she's paid off its $35.00 value in labor. (As Mrs. Bellingham, her employer, refers to the incident as a "debacle," Anastasia believes throughout the story that she is paying for a mangled "bockle.") But during her service Anastasia becomes friends with Mrs. Bellingham's rebellious granddaughter Daphne, and together they plot revenge on the old lady: Daphne steals a pile of leftover invitations to her grandmother's upcoming charity bash and sends them to a few of the town's outcasts and underprivileged. The girls repent too late, on learning that the charity is the children's hospital in which Anastasia's little brother has just been a patient—and then try desperately, with the predictable hilarious results, to spot the undesirables and remove them from the party. After Daphne mistakenly asks the mayor to leave, Mrs. Bellingham questions the girls and concludes: "Surely it is apparent by new that those people, whatever their problems, know how to behave ata party.' Along with a Roots trip Anastasia takes with her father to the poor-but-charming (new Italian) Boston neighborhood where he grew up, it all goes to inculcate in Anastasia some corny and unexamined American myths. But as Lowry uses these egalitarian lessons to anchor the story, not vice versa, readers won't feel manipulated.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 1982

ISBN: 0440402905

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1982

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Wonderful, indeed

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THE WONDERFUL THINGS YOU WILL BE

A GROWING-UP POEM

A love song to baby with delightful illustrations to boot.

Sweet but not saccharine and singsong but not forced, Martin’s text is one that will invite rereadings as it affirms parental wishes for children while admirably keeping child readers at its heart. The lines that read “This is the first time / There’s ever been you, / So I wonder what wonderful things / You will do” capture the essence of the picture book and are accompanied by a diverse group of babies and toddlers clad in downright adorable outfits. Other spreads include older kids, too, and pictures expand on the open text to visually interpret the myriad possibilities and hopes for the depicted children. For example, a spread reading “Will you learn how to fly / To find the best view?” shows a bespectacled, school-aged girl on a swing soaring through an empty white background. This is just one spread in which Martin’s fearless embrace of the white of the page serves her well. Throughout the book, she maintains a keen balance of layout choices, and surprising details—zebras on the wallpaper behind a father cradling his child, a rock-’n’-roll band of mice paralleling the children’s own band called “The Missing Teeth”—add visual interest and gentle humor. An ideal title for the baby-shower gift bag and for any nursery bookshelf or lap-sit storytime.

Wonderful, indeed . (Picture book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-37671-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

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NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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