I FOOLED YOU

TEN STORIES OF TRICKS, JOKES, AND SWITCHEROOS

After collecting stories all based on birthdays from well-known children’s authors for a previous anthology, Birthday Surprises (1995), this time Hurwitz has asked a group of ten writers to create stories that include the line, “I fooled you,” a concept that, she reminds readers, is a common feature of most folk and fairy tales. Matthew Holm provides a funny, nearly wordless graphic tale. The final two stories, a new take on the troll guarding a bridge by Michelle Knudsen and a story with a satisfying surprise ending by Ellen Klages, are the best. Douglas Florian contributes a bouncy poem, and stories by Johanna Hurwitz and Eve B. Feldman offer gentle messages about the sometimes-questionable behavior of middle-grade students. The anthology’s large font and short-story format may appeal to struggling middle-school readers as well as elementary-school kids, although the rather juvenile cover art (that nonetheless captures the “fooled you” concept) might fool them into thinking it’s only appropriate for a much younger audience. (Short stories. 8- 14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3789-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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WONDER

After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

  • Newbery Honor Book

ONE CRAZY SUMMER

A flight from New York to Oakland, Calif., to spend the summer of 1968 with the mother who abandoned Delphine and her two sisters was the easy part. Once there, the negative things their grandmother had said about their mother, Cecile, seem true: She is uninterested in her daughters and secretive about her work and the mysterious men in black berets who visit. The sisters are sent off to a Black Panther day camp, where Delphine finds herself skeptical of the worldview of the militants while making the best of their situation. Delphine is the pitch-perfect older sister, wise beyond her years, an expert at handling her siblings: “Just like I know how to lift my sisters up, I also knew how to needle them just right.” Each girl has a distinct response to her motherless state, and Williams-Garcia provides details that make each characterization crystal clear. The depiction of the time is well done, and while the girls are caught up in the difficulties of adults, their resilience is celebrated and energetically told with writing that snaps off the page. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-076088-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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