The invented words, the spelling bee and Cinderella’s voice, which is maturing and becoming more likable, make this a great...

THE MORE THE MERRIER

From the Cinderella Smith series , Vol. 2

Cinderella Smith knows how to spell and define many words, but sometimes the hardest word to understand is friendship.

Third grade with beloved Mr. Harrison is "vexylent," especially when Cinderella invents new words and her friends begin to adopt them. But, alas, things can be "awshucksible," too. The Rosemarys are in her class and continue to make life difficult. They make fun of her words, visiting aunt, little sister Tess and just about anything else that Cinderella enjoys. When the reward for winning the school spelling bee (getting to choose the theme for a class party) is announced, the gauntlet is thrown. Cinderella and her crew do NOT want to have Rosemary T.’s “I Believe in Unicorns” party. Cinderella and best friend Erin will have to do a lot of studying. In between study sessions, the girls become increasingly irritated by the mean behavior of the Rosemarys and decide to give them the silent treatment, which ends in a very believable confrontation. Goode’s appealing line drawings keep things light and help readers cheer for Cinderella.

The invented words, the spelling bee and Cinderella’s voice, which is maturing and becoming more likable, make this a great offering for youngsters who are figuring out the confusing social terrain of third grade. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-200440-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers will enjoy this sequel from a plot perspective and will learn how to play-act a trial, though they may not engage...

THE LEMONADE CRIME

From the Lemonade War series , Vol. 2

This sequel to The Lemonade War (2007), picking up just a few days later, focuses on how the fourth graders take justice into their own hands after learning that the main suspect in the case of the missing lemonade-stand money now owns the latest in game-box technology.

Siblings Evan and Jessie (who skipped third grade because of her precocity) are sure Scott Spencer stole the $208 from Evan’s shorts and want revenge, especially as Scott’s new toy makes him the most popular kid in class, despite his personal shortcomings. Jessie’s solution is to orchestrate a full-blown trial by jury after school, while Evan prefers to challenge Scott in basketball. Neither channel proves satisfactory for the two protagonists (whose rational and emotional reactions are followed throughout the third-person narrative), though, ultimately, the matter is resolved. Set during the week of Yom Kippur, the story raises beginning questions of fairness, integrity, sin and atonement. Like John Grisham's Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer (2010), much of the book is taken up with introducing courtroom proceedings for a fourth-grade level of understanding. Chapter headings provide definitions  (“due diligence,” “circumstantial evidence,” etc.) and explanation cards/documents drawn by Jessie are interspersed.

Readers will enjoy this sequel from a plot perspective and will learn how to play-act a trial, though they may not engage with the characters enough to care about how the justice actually pans out. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 2, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-27967-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The second installment in this spirited series is a hit.

WAYS TO GROW LOVE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 2

A new baby coming means Ryan has lots of opportunities to grow love.

Ryan has so much to look forward to this summer—she is going to be a big sister, and she finally gets to go to church camp! But new adventures bring challenges, too. Ryan feels like the baby is taking forever to arrive, and with Mom on bed rest, she isn’t able to participate in the family’s typical summer activities. Ryan’s Dad is still working the late shift, which means he gets home and goes to bed when she and her older brother, Ray, are waking up, so their quality daddy-daughter time is limited to one day a week. When the time for camp finally arrives, Ryan is so worried about bugs, ghosts, and sharing a cabin that she wonders if she should go at all. Watson’s heroine is smart and courageous, bringing her optimistic attitude to any challenge she faces. Hard topics like family finances and complex relationships with friends are discussed in an age-appropriate way. Watson continues to excel at crafting a sense of place; she transports readers to Portland, Oregon, with an attention to detail that can only come from someone who has loved that city. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and occasional illustrations by Mata spotlight their joy and make this book shine.

The second installment in this spirited series is a hit. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0058-8

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more