A loving and sweet addition to the Deckawoo Drive series.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING, BABY LINCOLN?

From the Tales from Deckawoo Drive series , Vol. 3

Baby Lincoln has always yielded to her older sister, Eugenia, but now it is time to take a stand.

They are gray-haired adults, but Eugenia rules the Lincoln roost, making all decisions. She gives orders and micromanages Baby’s every endeavor. The pattern was established from Baby’s earliest childhood, when Eugenia refused to call her by her actual, given name. One day Baby just says, “No,” and embarks on a “necessary journey” of discovery. Stella, a young black neighbor, helps the elderly white woman buy a train ticket to Fluxom. The journey proves to be life-changing for Baby. Interacting with her fellow passengers gives her the opportunity to re-evaluate and discover her own identity and worth. She responds to her real name, Lucille, remembers how to laugh and to use her imagination, and learns that she can calm a child’s fears, as Eugenia had once done for her. She is ready to go home, and when Eugenia and Stella meet her in Fluxom, Eugenia, albeit reluctantly and with prompting, admits that she missed Baby desperately. DiCamillo’s gentle picaresque is told with tender humor in brief descriptive sentences that totally avoid high drama and histrionics. The third-person narration is unintrusive, allowing readers to respond to this grown-up’s journey of self-discovery along with her and perhaps to explore their own sibling relationships as well.

A loving and sweet addition to the Deckawoo Drive series. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7311-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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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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A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale.

A TRUE HOME

From the Heartwood Hotel series , Vol. 1

An orphan mouse unexpectedly arrives at Heartwood Hotel, which she hopes will become the home she’s seeking.

Mona’s never had a home for long. After a storm forces her to flee her latest forest shelter, she discovers an enormous tree with a heart carved into its trunk. When Mona presses the heart, a door opens, and she enters the lobby of Heartwood Hotel, where small forest critters hibernate, eat, and celebrate in safety. The kindhearted badger proprietor, Mr. Heartwood, takes pity on homeless Mona, allowing her to stay for the fall to assist the maid, Tilly, a red squirrel. Grateful to be at Heartwood, Mona strives to prove herself despite Tilly’s unfriendly attitude. Mona’s clever approaches with a wounded songbird, an anxious skunk, and a wayward bear win Mr. Heartwood’s approval. But when Mona accidentally breaks a rule, Tilly convinces her she will be fired. As Mona secretly leaves Heartwood, she discovers marauding wolves planning to crash Heartwood’s Snow Festival and devises a daring plan to save the place she regards as home. Charming anthropomorphic characters, humorous mishaps, and outside threats add to the drama. Delicate pencil illustrations reinforce Heartwood’s cozy home theme. A sequel, The Greatest Gift, publishes simultaneously.

A plucky mouse finds her true home in this warm, winning tale. (Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3161-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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