OH NO, NOAH!

Hurwitz’s (Russell’s Secret, 2001, etc.) latest warm slice of family life explores another milestone: moving to a new neighborhood. Accident-prone, eight-year-old Noah has just moved and has to make friends and figure out a way to fit in. First, he meets Mo, the nosy and energetic girl next door who helps him meet the other children in her circle. The remarkable thing about these children is that each of them has a special talent: Andy can whistle shrilly, Jessica can read while standing on her head, and Mo can juggle. The pressure is on! Noah’s only claim to fame is that his family is the owner of a bizarre, stuffed deer head. It was a gift from Noah’s father’s boss and is tucked away in their new basement. Mo and her friends concoct an elaborate plan that involves burying the head and having a funeral. Noah reluctantly agrees, figuring it would make him part of the group. Of course, things don’t always turn out the way an eight-year-old boy might plan. Hurwitz builds the suspense nicely, and, though everything does turn out well in the end, Noah learns some important lessons about peer pressure and self-reliance. Unremarkable illustrations accompany each chapter. The predictable storyline, punctuated by believable surprises and realistic dialogue, makes this a winner for readers ready for the challenges of a longer chapter book. The generous font, comfortable size, and familiar story make this a fine addition to a growing list of good choices for new readers. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-58717-133-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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