Those who have enjoyed Fenway’s necessarily narrow doggy point of view will no doubt savor another outing.

READ REVIEW

UP TO NEW TRICKS

From the Fenway and Hattie series , Vol. 3

Fenway, Hattie’s exuberant Jack Russell terrier, is back for another (mis)adventure. This time the pup gets a bee sting on the paw.

Somewhat improbably, Fenway then is hauled to the veterinary clinic, where the vet, who reeks of cinnamon and animals’ fear, anesthetizes him. When Fenway awakens, he’s wearing the ever so annoying Cone of Doom, an oversized, rigid plastic collar that keeps him from licking his stung and very itchy paw. Meanwhile, Hattie is working hard on learning some magic tricks before her grandmother comes for a visit, a slight secondary storyline. After the two previous Fenway and Hattie tales, the trope is well-worn, if not a bit frayed. Fenway’s narrative point of view is very, very doggy, and that’s the running joke. In spite of veterinary attention, his paw becomes infected, and that necessitates yet another visit to the scary doctor and orders to “Soke-it,” which turns out to be almost worse than the dreaded bath, one of Fenway’s lurking background fears. Perhaps even more unfortunate is the fact that beloved Hattie (whom Fenway never describes) is the one who turns Fenway over to the vet and who keeps torturing him with paw soaks. Naturally, though, Fenway and Hattie sort things out and all ends well.

Those who have enjoyed Fenway’s necessarily narrow doggy point of view will no doubt savor another outing. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3783-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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

A bit disjointed and episodic, but Tristan is a likable companion.

THE DOUGHNUT FIX

From the Doughnut Fix series , Vol. 1

Tristan’s family has always loved living in New York City, but all that is about to change.

Dad announces that they are moving to a dilapidated, purple house on a hill on the outskirts of the very small town of Petersville in upstate New York. Baby sister Zoe is frightened and confused. Jeanine, two years younger than Tristan and a math genius in gifted and talented classes, is appalled and worried about her educational prospects. Tristan is devastated, for he is a city kid through and through. Because they won’t be starting school for several months, their parents tell Jeanine and Tristan they must complete a project. Jeanine selects a complicated scientific and mathematical study that allows her to remain uninvolved with people. Tristan, who loves to cook, like his chef mom, decides to start a business making and selling the supposedly mind-blowing chocolate-cream doughnuts once famous in Petersville but now no longer made. His business plan leads to adventures, new friends, and a sense of acceptance. Tristan is a charmer; he’s earnest, loving, wistful, and practical, and he narrates his own tale without guile. But he is the only character so well defined—next to him, the supporting cast feels flat. The family is described as Jewish early on, but their Judaism is kept well to the background; the people of Petersville are white by default.

A bit disjointed and episodic, but Tristan is a likable companion. (recipes, business plan, acknowledgements) (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5541-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more