With all the foodies out there, this delightful series deserves a long shelf life…and many more courses.

PHOEBE G. GREEN

LUNCH WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!

From the Phoebe G. Green series , Vol. 1

List-making foodie Phoebe G. Green adjusts to the addition of a new best friend.

Phoebe and Sage (“who’s a boy, if you were wondering”) are best friends. They are both excited about being in Mrs. B’s third-grade class this year. Also exciting is the addition of a new girl, Camille, from France. Phoebe is especially taken with Camille at lunchtime, when the kids compare lunches. Camille brings duck, goat cheese, strawberries and a tiny loaf of bread—and that is just on the first day! Phoebe becomes obsessed with Camille’s interesting food and makes a plan to get invited to her house, where she imagines gold goblets full of fabulous food. The plan involves inviting Camille over to Phoebe’s first, but the girl’s fancy menu falls flat (her family is more a salad-from-a-bag family). While Phoebe is focused on Camille and her food, original best buddy Sage is pushed to the background, even though his mother does cook Indian food. Hiranandani has a light touch when exploring the friendship issues of these three likable characters. Nothing is over-the-top, and the plot is fun and easy to understand for the newest chapter-book readers. Gently humorous black-and-white illustrations pair nicely with the text.

With all the foodies out there, this delightful series deserves a long shelf life…and many more courses. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-46696-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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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

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Though the lessons weigh more heavily than in The One and Only Ivan, a potential disappointment to its fans, the story is...

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CRENSHAW

Applegate tackles homelessness in her first novel since 2013 Newbery winner The One and Only Ivan.

Hunger is a constant for soon-to-be fifth-grader Jackson and his family, and the accompanying dizziness may be why his imaginary friend is back. A giant cat named Crenshaw first appeared after Jackson finished first grade, when his parents moved the family into their minivan for several months. Now they’re facing eviction again, and Jackson’s afraid that he won’t be going to school next year with his friend Marisol. When Crenshaw shows up on a surfboard, Jackson, an aspiring scientist who likes facts, wonders whether Crenshaw is real or a figment of his imagination. Jackson’s first-person narrative moves from the present day, when he wishes that his parents understood that he’s old enough to hear the truth about the family’s finances, to the first time they were homeless and back to the present. The structure allows readers access to the slow buildup of Jackson’s panic and his need for a friend and stability in his life. Crenshaw tells Jackson that “Imaginary friends don’t come of their own volition. We are invited. We stay as long as we’re needed.” The cat’s voice, with its adult tone, is the conduit for the novel’s lessons: “You need to tell the truth, my friend….To the person who matters most of all.”

Though the lessons weigh more heavily than in The One and Only Ivan, a potential disappointment to its fans, the story is nevertheless a somberly affecting one . (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04323-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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