EVANGELINE BROWN AND THE CADILLAC MOTEL

Eddie (Evangeline Dawn), a tough but sensitive girl, lives with her widowed, alcoholic father at the Cadillac Motel in Paradise, Florida. She’s bright, but she conceals her intelligence at school, preferring the company of her library books. When her father’s layabout friend’s son comes to town, Eddie and Farrell become friends, bonding together as outsiders. An eager new sixth-grade teacher works hard to bring Eddie out of her shell, but a home visit leads to fears that Miss Rose’s meddling will result in the kids’ seizure by the state. There’s very little new in this plot, as Davis rings the changes on a formula made familiar by hundreds of children’s books that have come before. While Eddie and Farrell are genuinely sympathetic characters, the narrative, which includes a failed attempt to run away and a ridiculously easy resolution (the fathers’ fright at the near loss of their children and Miss Rose’s intervention lead them to AA, which turns them around instantly) contains no surprises. It’s a competent rendition of a time-tested story, but contains little that’s fresh or new. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-525-47221-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2004

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The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.).

POPPY

From the Poppy series , Vol. 3

An adolescent mouse named Poppy is off on a romantic tryst with her rebel boyfriend when they are attacked by Mr. Ocax, the owl who rules over the area.

He kills the boyfriend, but Poppy escapes and Mr. Ocax vows to catch her. Mr. Ocax has convinced all the mice that he is their protector when, in fact, he preys on them mercilessly. When the mice ask his permission to move to a new house, he refuses, blaming Poppy for his decision. Poppy suspects that there is another reason Mr. Ocax doesn't want them to move and investigates to clear her name. With the help of a prickly old porcupine and her quick wits, Poppy defeats her nemesis and her own fears, saving her family in the bargain. 

The book is a cute, but rather standard offering from Avi (Tom, Babette, and Simon, p. 776, etc.). (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-531-09483-9

Page Count: 147

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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