MOVING DAY

ALLIE FINKLE’S RULES FOR GIRLS, BOOK 1

Like every other kid lately, nine-year-old Allie Finkle is developing her list of rules for friendships, school situations, family and overall life. Dos and don’ts for any newly minted tween can get pretty complicated when an already unsettling relationship with a so-called best friend is augmented by one’s parents’ decision to sell their comfortable suburban dwelling and move to an un-renovated Victorian-style, 100-year-old gloomy and possibly haunted house in the city. And, what about the new (really old and crowded) school and a fourth grade filled with unfriendly faces? Allie is stressed but decides to take charge by hatching a scheme to prevent the sale of her suburban house and thus, the move. Cabot’s endearing, funny and clever protagonist will have readers simultaneously chuckling and commiserating as succeeding chapters introduce individual “rules” for Allie to contemplate and accept. Lessons on friendship and fickleness, sneaky behavior, lying, animal cruelty and theft (although paying for a “rescued” pet turtle that was never for sale may raise some eyebrows) merge to create a humorous and heartwarming story. Allie’s first-person voice is completely believable with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek wit. Despite the now-overdone rules concept, readers will eagerly await Allie’s next installment in her new home, school and neighborhood. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-545-03947-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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THE LEMONADE WAR

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 1

Told from the point of view of two warring siblings, this could have been an engaging first chapter book. Unfortunately, the length makes it less likely to appeal to the intended audience. Jessie and Evan are usually good friends as well as sister and brother. But the news that bright Jessie will be skipping a grade to join Evan’s fourth-grade class creates tension. Evan believes himself to be less than clever; Jessie’s emotional maturity doesn’t quite measure up to her intelligence. Rivalry and misunderstandings grow as the two compete to earn the most money in the waning days of summer. The plot rolls along smoothly and readers will be able to both follow the action and feel superior to both main characters as their motivations and misconceptions are clearly displayed. Indeed, a bit more subtlety in characterization might have strengthened the book’s appeal. The final resolution is not entirely believable, but the emphasis on cooperation and understanding is clear. Earnest and potentially successful, but just misses the mark. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2007

ISBN: 0-618-75043-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007

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