BUG GIRL

In this sequel to Bug Boy (1997), Charlie is still obsessed with insects, and is using his magic Bug-A-View with enthusiastic abandon, despite its obvious dangers, to transform himself into a variety of bugs. When he decides to tell his best friend, Suzanne, about it, her reaction is not what he’d expected; she is horrified at the danger and wants no part of it. But when Charlie, as a beetle, is captured and about to be killed and pinned, Suzanne turns herself into an ant to rescue him. This lacks the freshness of the original, but has all the action and suspense, with the nice addition of the girl’s rescue of a boy, for a change, through bravery and physical strength. Charlie’s reckless and thoughtless use of his magical toy is wearing; readers will welcome Suzanne’s decision to bury the Bug-A-View at the end. The cartoon illustrations keep pace with the text, especially the cover illustration, which appears to be Suzanne’s first horrified moments as an ant. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8050-5821-4

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating...

FRINDLE

Nicholas is a bright boy who likes to make trouble at school, creatively. 

When he decides to torment his fifth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Granger (who is just as smart as he is), by getting everyone in the class to replace the word "pen'' with "frindle,'' he unleashes a series of events that rapidly spins out of control. If there's any justice in the world, Clements (Temple Cat, 1995, etc.) may have something of a classic on his hands. By turns amusing and adroit, this first novel is also utterly satisfying. The chess-like sparring between the gifted Nicholas and his crafty teacher is enthralling, while Mrs. Granger is that rarest of the breed: a teacher the children fear and complain about for the school year, and love and respect forever after. 

With comically realistic black-and-white illustrations by Selznick (The Robot King, 1995, etc.), this is a captivating tale—one to press upon children, and one they'll be passing among themselves. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-689-80669-8

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1996

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DONAVAN'S WORD JAR

Donavan's friends collect buttons and marbles, but he collects words. ``NUTRITION,'' ``BALLYHOO,'' ``ABRACADABRA''—these and other words are safely stored on slips of paper in a jar. As it fills, Donavan sees a storage problem developing and, after soliciting advice from his teacher and family, solves it himself: Visiting his grandma at a senior citizens' apartment house, he settles a tenants' argument by pulling the word ``COMPROMISE'' from his jar and, feeling ``as if the sun had come out inside him,'' discovers the satisfaction of giving his words away. Appealingly detailed b&w illustrations depict Donavan and his grandma as African-Americans. This Baltimore librarian's first book is sure to whet readers' appetites for words, and may even start them on their own savory collections. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: June 30, 1994

ISBN: 0-06-020190-8

Page Count: 72

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1994

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