THE SUPER SECRET MYSTERY

From the Cinderella Smith series , Vol. 3

Cinderella Smith, shoe-losing third-grader, is back, now facing the challenges of a research project.

Third-grade is the year when some kids (the Rosemarys, in this case) appoint themselves too old for childish things, while others (Cinderella and her posse) are still happy to jump and hop and slither when the zoo docent instructs them to. Alas! It’s hard to know what to do if you are Cinderella Smith. When the class is assigned a research project on animals, the children decide they want to shock and amaze their classmates. This turns out to be harder than they thought. Cinderella wants to study ocelots, but the books she needs mysteriously disappear from the library. She and her friends, the self-named Group in Cahoots, come up with a cooperative way to shock and amaze everyone, even the Rosemarys. Fans of this series will appreciate the subtle changes that happen in these sunny stories: The boys and girls are growing up and noticing each other in different ways—they solve problems and forgive each other, even when the Rosemarys conspire to ruin things. Goode’s black-and-white illustrations add humor and emotion to the story and, in the end, even make a lovely visual reference to the real Cinderella story when Charlie puts his basketball shoe on Cinderella’s bare foot.

Charming. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-200443-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse.

MEET THE BIGFEET

From the Yeti Files series , Vol. 1

It’s a Bigfeet family reunion!

Everyone’s favorite frosty, furry cryptid, the yeti, actually has a name: Blizz Richards. From his supersecret HQ in Nepal he keeps in touch with his fellow cryptids, all of whom have sworn an oath to keep themselves hidden. That’s not always easy, especially when there are cryptozoologists, like the nasty (but bumbling) George Vanquist, who are always trying to expose the secretive creatures. Vanquist got a picture of Blizz’s cousin Brian near his home in British Columbia, causing the mortified Brian to disappear entirely. When Blizz receives an invitation to a Bigfeet family reunion in Canada, he calls his buddies Alexander (one of Santa’s elves), Gunthar (a goblin) and Frank the Arctic fox to help him get ready. When they arrive in Canada, Brian is still nowhere to be seen. Can Blizz and his skunk ape and other sasquatch cousins find Brian, have the reunion and evade Vanquist? If anyone can, the Bigfeet clan can. Illustrator Sherry’s first volume in the Yeti Files is a fast and funny graphic-prose tale full of labeled pictures and comic-style panels. Those just starting chapter books may have some trouble with a few big words, but they’ll enjoy the big friendly monsters and immediately ask for the next tale—which looks to be about the Loch Ness monster.

Good-hearted fun—great for fans of Kit Feeny and Babymouse. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-55617-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 1

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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