JUST ASK IRIS by Lucy Frank

JUST ASK IRIS

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

An upbeat and very funny urban tale, resolutely keeping the dark away even if that involves rather pat solutions. Twelve-year-old Iris Diaz Pinkowitz’s Mami wants her to spend the summer in the apartment learning to type from a classic 1950s typing text. But Iris has other ideas: she wants to find out where the cat she’s been feeding comes from—maybe the lady in 6B, who seems to have dozens—and she needs to get a bra, because the catcalls are becoming irritating. Using the fire-escape (pronounced by the super, in true New York style, fyescate) because the elevator hasn’t worked in months and the halls are malodorous, Iris not only meets her neighbors (some real characters) but finds a way to raise money by doing errands and odd jobs for them. The Bible-quoting Cat Lady turns out to have a slim but iron grasp on reality; Will, the boy in the wheelchair, needs out from under his stressed and abusive Dad; and Iris and her brother are still smarting from the departure of Papi Pinkowitz. A Marx Brothers–style climax involving Iris’s minimal typing skills but maximum resourcefulness in cat-placing keeps the Cat Lady in her apartment and gets the elevator repaired in time for Will to actually get to school. And yes, Iris gets her bra. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-84406-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Richard Jackson/Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001




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