"OWEN FOOTE, SECOND GRADE STRONGMAN" by Stephanie Greene

"OWEN FOOTE, SECOND GRADE STRONGMAN"

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Owen is scrawny and small, his best friend, Joseph, is fat, and both are worried about the upcoming height-and-weight chart day at school because the elderly school nurse, Mrs. Jackson, is prone to bellowing disparaging remarks about their bodies in front of everyone. When she starts humiliating Joseph, Owen speaks up to defend him, an act that brings both trouble and admiration. In her first book, Greene imparts some important messages, although it's unfortunate that the main characters are depicted lifting weights, a dangerous and unhealthy activity for children so young. But learning to speak up for oneself, even against adults, is a lesson rarely taught well, and one that is carried off perfectly here. Owen's parents aren't supportive, but Mrs. Jackson--eventually--is; wonderfully, she not only apologizes but asks Owen's opinion because she knows she can count on his honesty. A promising debut for a neglected age group.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1996
ISBN: 0395720982
Page count: 81pp
Publisher: Clarion