This outspoken narrator should monologue her way into readers’ hearts and teach them a few valuable lessons along the way.

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ZOEY'S ZANY LIFE

From the Zany Zoey series

What do you get when you combine a free-spirited young girl with a world full of rules? Hijinks—and lots of them.

In this debut middle-grade novel, Zoey Grace Song loves to talk, make her special chocolate pancakes, and take charge of any situation. She starts the sixth grade off by constantly getting into trouble—for being a distraction in class, bleaching her hair, and (accidentally) setting off a small explosion in school. She always seems to march to the beat of her own drum, often to her parents’ chagrin. Zoey’s mostly able to shrug off any naysaying in a refreshingly self-assured fashion, but sometimes the criticisms get to her, especially when she’s compared to her perfect twin sister, Zelena. (Thinking about a teacher, Zoey wonders whether “Mrs. Lewis would like me better if I was like Zelena.”) In her series opener, Lowery sometimes exaggerates Zelena’s maturity or other characters’ defining traits to the point of absurdity. But the 12-year-old author displays real empathy when the players have to contend with Zoey’s attention-grabbing ways. The protagonist is always excited to be in the spotlight: joining a local Scout troop, starting several businesses, and even hanging her own artwork at museums. When she can’t join the track team with her sister, Zoey’s upset, but Zelena provides a welcome dose of reality: “This is the first time people will focus on me as me, instead of Zoey’s twin.” Lowery writes with heart and ends Zoey’s sixth-grade year with a stirring speech about being yourself and learning from one another (“It doesn’t matter what others think of you, it only matters what you think of yourself”).

This outspoken narrator should monologue her way into readers’ hearts and teach them a few valuable lessons along the way.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-90898-3

Page Count: 202

Publisher: Charlie's Port

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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