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From the Charlie Joe Jackson series , Vol. 5

With wit and perception, Greenwald reminds readers that there is communication beyond their electronics.

A texting gaffe leads to tumult for middle schooler Katie.

The tale opens with a wry glimpse at Katie’s technology-driven existence, documenting the flurry of texting, posting and so on that consumes Katie’s time. Disaster occurs when Katie accidentally sends a text meant for BFF Charlie Joe containing careless remarks about her current boyfriend, Nareem, to Nareem instead. An aspiring songwriter, Katie transforms her remorse into the lyrics of a new song. When hometown rock star—and Katie’s favorite musician—Jane (of Plain Jane fame) learns of Katie’s predicament, she proposes a challenge. If Katie can convince 10 friends to join her in eschewing their phones for one week, the group will be invited to Jane’s concert, where she will play Katie’s song. Greenwald explores the complications inherent in relying upon technology as a substitute for genuine social engagement, comically highlighting both the pitfalls and the benefits of modern communication practices. Katie’s project ultimately brings together a disparate group of middle school students whose efforts to get by without their phones result in meaningful discoveries about one another and themselves. Coovert's illustrations convey Katie's spunky personality, capturing both her mishaps and triumphs. Fans of the Charlie Joe Jackson series will enjoy the evolving changes in Charlie Joe and Katie’s friendship.

With wit and perception, Greenwald reminds readers that there is communication beyond their electronics. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-59643-837-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)



Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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Writing as authority “Miss Edythe McFate,” Blume reveals that, even in New York, fairy folk are all around—having adapted to the urban environment—and so city children had best take special care not to run afoul of them. In two-dozen short chapters she introduces many types, explains their powers and (usually mischievous) proclivities and dispels common superstitions. She also suggests doable practices and strategies to stay on their good sides, such as leaving dishes of warm water, flower petals and Gummi bears around the house and ushering inchworms and ladybugs (all of which are fairy pets) found indoors back outside rather than killing them. Along with frequent weedy borders and corner spots, Foote adds portraits of chubby or insectile creatures, often in baroque attire. Interspersed with eight original tales (of children rescuing brownies ejected from the Algonquin Hotel during renovations, discovering a magical farm behind a door in the Lincoln Tunnel and so on), this collection of lore (much of it newly minted) offers an entertaining change of pace from the more traditional likes of Susannah Marriott’s Field Guide to Fairies (2009). (Informational fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-375-86203-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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