WILD IRIS BLOOM by Mavis Jukes


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With her parents in Europe, Iris (Maggie's irrepressible best friend in Getting Even, 1988) is so weary of her oblivious babysitter that she keeps news of their delayed return secret and sends Mrs. Fuller on her way. Walking to the mall (where she's forbidden to go alone), Iris goes to a favorite shop, confides too much of her situation, and is later picked up by the salesman--not a stranger but not as nice as he seems. Iris escapes from his car when he tries to kiss her, telephones Maggie to ask her dad to come get her, and eventually tells her what has happened. The book begins with an overlong, mostly humorous depiction of Iris masking her loneliness by checking out some innocently naughty symbols of her coming adulthood: she's planning to get even with the class bully with the help of a wolf puppet made from a satin wolf-head g-string (male) that will devour his boy crying wolf in a puppet show; she has bought and put on a padded bra just before she's picked up. Still, her 12-year-old vulnerability peeps through in telling details, and the pace comes to full speed with her narrow escape and Jukes's purposeful but skillfully orchestrated conclusion: Maggie hesitates but does the right thing--she tells her parents, who inform the police. Caught by Iris's entertainingly outrageous pranks, readers will stay to enjoy the warm interaction with Maggie's sensible parents and especially between the girls: Maggie, a true friend, concludes by tactfully helping the chagrined Iris to get back on track.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1992
Page count: 183pp
Publisher: Knopf