A SPY AMONG THE GIRLS by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Age Range: 9 - 12
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Nine-year-old Caroline Malloy is green with envy; her ten-year-old sister, Beth, is in love. As a budding actress, Caroline wants the experience of love or tragedy just to add to her repertoire. Fans of the series about these neighbors will roll with laughter as she attempts to force Wally Hatford to fall in love with her. When a new sweater doesn’t get a wild reaction, she seeks out the juiciest valentine and signs it “Achingly yours,” with rows of X’s and O’s. The oldest sister, Eddie, thinks only about the upcoming sixth-grade science fair; for her project, she sets out to prove that boys are more gullible than girls. She capitalizes on her town’s present fear of the “abaguchie,” the nickname they’ve given to a mysterious creature that prowls around the vicinity after dark. If Eddie claimed she’d captured the abaguchie in their garage, would more boys or girls come to see it? Ever the actress, Caroline designs a fearsome abaguchie costume and the girls hand-stuff secretive invitations in their schoolmates’ pockets. Unaware of the premise, the Hatford boys are even enlisted to record the names and ages of those who attend. The results delight the girls—twice as many boys as girls show up, proving that boys are the more gullible sex. Beth’s beau, Josh Hatford, tries to deny his interest in Beth to save face with his brothers, but when he enlists the help of his youngest brother, Peter, to deliver a box of Whitman’s chocolates to Beth’s door, the results backfire. The description of Peter deftly breaking into the box to nibble and poke away at chocolate after chocolate while the girls watch in disbelief from a safe outpost will make the reader’s sides hurt. All in all, a terrific sequel to a long list of winners. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-385-32336-0
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2000


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