The U.S. publisher, an arm of the American Psychological Association, suggests shared reading to prompt discussion; some...

MY DIARY

THE TOTALLY TRUE STORY OF ME!

This private, off-limits diary of a young girl records ideas and feelings that she doesn't want to reveal to anyone else, turning readers into instant voyeurs.

The fictional Marilou writes narrative and simple poetry in a convincing voice. She includes things that make her sad or happy, disappoint her or make her proud, thoughts about friendship and solitude, examples of courage and fears and feelings about growing up, life, war, death, peace, hope and sharing with the world. Two common events prompt many of her musings: the death of her red goldfish and her parents’ announcement that they are expecting another child. These short entries are presented in a variety of handwritten printing styles (no script) and taped in a scrapbook, leaving plenty of white space on each page. They are accompanied by slightly surreal images, usually filling a single page but sometimes spilling over the gutter. Done with a variety of media, some illustrations look like watercolor paintings enhanced with crayon and some collage, others are more textured with brushwork visible. First published in Canada in French, this was shortlisted for a readers' choice award in Atlantic Canada. No translator is credited.

The U.S. publisher, an arm of the American Psychological Association, suggests shared reading to prompt discussion; some readers may prefer to maintain the illusion of learning someone’s secrets, responding to them without adult interference. (Picture book. 7-10) 

Pub Date: July 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0958-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny.

THIRD GRADE ANGELS

Suds Morton is not yet a “Fourth Grade Rat.” In this prequel to Spinelli's 1991 standby, he is a year younger and, according to his school’s traditional chant, he aspires to the sobriquet of “Third Grade Angel.”

When his teacher announces her intention of rewarding angelic behavior with a halo, Suds decides he wants to be the first angel. Between his cool new friend Joey, his wise mom and a little conclusion-jumping, he comes up with a plan. But, of course, his results are just a little off-kilter. Suds, nicknamed for his preference for calming soaks in bubble baths when he gets “chipmunky,” needs all the help he can get to deal with the various disasters and tribulations that threaten to overwhelm him. Along with the angel chase there’s a pesky little sister, a fifth-grade bully and total rejection by the girl he adores. Spinelli doesn’t miss a beat in recreating the characters from the earlier work and never reveals any hint of Suds’ fourth-grade future. He lets readers into Suds’ 8-year-old mind without condescension. His problems and concerns are treated comically but with genuine kindness. Suds is innocent, gullible and trusting; he is also entirely good-hearted.

Young readers will recognize Suds as one of their own and will gladly follow him to fourth grade. Sweet and funny. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-38772-9

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more