Sixth grade dumps a flurry of teacher and school-policy issues on a veteran problem-solver’s plate.
So it’s off to middle school and a whole new level of assignments for Dewey—including a teacher whose shark-based curriculum is terrorizing an entire class, the sudden appearance of single-sheet dispensers in all the toilet stalls, and the dismaying prospect of having the snack machines replaced by wholesome produce from a student garden. But, as fans of his exploits in Dewey Fairchild, Parent Problem Solver (2017) well know, no matter the scope or complexity of the case, Dewey has a plan or at least enough of one to get started. In classmates Colin and Seraphina, plus nonagenarian business associate, neighbor, and designated cookie baker Clara Cottonwood, he has an excellent posse, too. Extended brainstorming and research sessions, a poster campaign, and carefully crafted presentations for a climactic school assembly are all plainly offered as models for would-be activist readers, but the author stirs in a big dog, a little sister, classroom hijinks, family interplay, and so much banter and punning (“Your t-issue is a call to duty!”) that the agenda sits lightly on the roller-coaster plot. Dewey is white, but his supporting cast is more explicitly diversified than previously, both on the cover illustration (in which Colin and Seraphina are both shown to be kids of color) and in narrative references to immigrant parents, ethnicity, and like cues.
Grass-roots politics at its best, likely to leave readers flushed with laughter. (Fiction. 10-13)