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REX ZERO, THE GREAT PRETENDER by Tim Wynne-Jones Kirkus Star


From the Rex Zero series, volume 3

by Tim Wynne-Jones

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-36260-7
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

After a childhood spent moving constantly across two countries, Rex wonders why his parents can't settle down. At least this time, Rex and his seven siblings are only moving to the other side of Ottawa. He'll still be switching to a new school, though, which means leaving Kathy, James and Buster at the beginning of grade seven. Rex has a cunning plan: He volunteers to arrange the transfer paperwork as a favor to his exhausted mum and then simply doesn't do it. Sure, he'll spend every scrounged penny on buses, but it'll be worth it. Right? Then why does his life feel so complicated? He's the target of a hockey-playing bully, sister Annie Oakley's cooking up something evil in the garden shed and Mum's acting funny. This 1963 pre-adolescence presents an imperfect world with flaws Rex is just barely beginning to understand. Rex as a narrator is fully in his time: Penny loafers, Hardy Boys novels and gender inequity are all seen through his utterly contemporaneous, completely ingenuous eyes. Genuinely wholesome, packed with affectionate humor, tension and joy. (Historical fiction. 9-12)