Whether there’s a readership for this is open to question, but it is certainly done well. Miss Austen would probably be...

READ REVIEW

LIZZY BENNET'S DIARY

INSPIRED BY JANE AUSTEN'S PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Young readers not quite ready to tackle Pride and Prejudice directly but who are yet intrigued by it might enjoy this loving tribute by the indefatigable Williams.

The entire story of Jane Austen’s masterpiece is told in diary format by Lizzy herself, including all the important particulars: the arrival of Mr. Bingley to Netherfield Park, her meeting with the “disagreeable” Mr. Darcy, the proposal of the insufferable Mr. Collins, the antics of Lizzy’s giddy sisters and the loss of her beloved sister Jane’s heart to Mr. Bingley. Although Lizzy notes that she is 20, the tone is very much that of a younger girl, as is suitable for her audience. Tiny sketches, watercolors, recipes and wonderful little foldouts of invitations, letters and other minutiae encourage much perusing. Dried flowers, reproductions of paintings and other objects are worked into the diary collages, as are comments by Lizzy about dresses, ribbons and delicacies. Her delight in walking through the fields and opening her mind to many things is evident, and of course, it all ends with the appropriate weddings.

Whether there’s a readership for this is open to question, but it is certainly done well. Miss Austen would probably be pleased. (Dear Reader note) (Fiction/pastiche. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7030-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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SWINDLE

From the Swindle series , Vol. 1

Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing is “the man with the plan.” If something needs doing, Griffin carefully plans a fix and his best friend Ben usually gets roped in as assistant. When the town council ignores his plan for a skate park on the grounds of the soon-to-be demolished Rockford House, Griffin plans a camp-out in the house. While there, he discovers a rare Babe Ruth baseball card. His family’s money worries are suddenly a thing of the past, until unscrupulous collectables dealer S. Wendell Palomino swindles him. Griffin and Ben plan to snatch the card back with a little help. Pet-lover Savannah whispers the blood-thirsty Doberman. Rock-climber “Pitch” takes care of scaling the house. Budding-actor Logan distracts the nosy neighbor. Computer-expert Melissa hacks Palomino’s e-mail and the house alarm. Little goes according to plan, but everything turns out all right in this improbable but fun romp by the prolific and always entertaining Korman. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-90344-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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