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NORTHWARD TO THE MOON

This delicious ramble picks up a year after My One Hundred Adventures (2008) left off, and Jane Fielding, now 13, isn’t just dreaming of having adventures but is experiencing a doozy of one. The family has had to flee Saskatchewan because her flighty stepfather Ned was fired, so Jane finds herself on the road with him, her dreamy, curiously checked-out poet mom, three younger siblings and a possibly hot bag of cash that needs unloading. Plot plays second fiddle to Jane’s brilliant, dryly humorous musings about everything from Canadian winter to place memory to the talents of a diner waitress, but there’s plenty of intrigue to keep the pages turning, including a visit to a First Nation village, a Las Vegas diversion and a trip to Ned’s mother’s horse ranch, where Jane, mortifyingly, falls for an indifferent wrangler. Jane’s observations of her quirky, likable family are comical but compassionate, and her perennial penchant for adventure—unlike Ned’s—is always tempered by her attachment to her Massachusetts home. A detour-rich road trip well worth the ride. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-375-86110-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Paraclete Press

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2010

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SMILE

Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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