THE GIRLS TAKE OVER by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Age Range: 9 - 12
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The battle of the sexes is once again on in the fictional town of Buckman, West Virginia, as two families of modern-day child Hatfields and McCoys—the four Hatford brothers and three Malloy sisters—fight for supremacy in the latest installment of Naylor’s (The Boys Return, 2001, etc.) lightly amusing series. Here, she pits Eddie Malloy, a talented baseball player, and the only female on the Buckman Badgers, against Jake Hatford, who also has dreams of pitching glory. Although Jake knows that he should root for every player on the team, it’s hard not to be jealous of “the Whomper,” who strikes him out in practice sessions and seems to connect with every ball that comes within smacking distance of her bat. Meanwhile, Wally, a dreamy sort of kid who is not comfortable in the limelight, and Caroline, an aspiring actress who craves it, are in contention to be the winner of the fourth-grade spelling bee. And all the youngsters are competing in their own self-devised contest, racing bottles down the river. Distrust on both sides leads to sabotage, which in turn gets everyone into trouble, inciting another round of mischief and mayhem, though the author lets the reader see that the kids are able to pull together when it counts. There are lots of characters to keep track of and a few dull spots early on, so it will take new readers a couple of chapters to get into the story groove. Nonetheless, it’s good-humored fun and should be ambrosia to its fans. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2002
ISBN: 0-385-32738-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2002


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