HANNAH ON HER WAY

Fifth grade in Hannah's new Maryland school is difficult: the other girls care ``about makeup, clothes, and boys'' while Hannah's concerns are still ``books, art, and make-believe.'' Although initially ambivalent about popular Caitie's overtures, Hannah comes to enjoy this first friend. With Caitie's encouragement, Hannah is successful in some new ventures; still, Caitie's clowning and irresponsibility cause her difficulty and embarrassment. Hannah begins to feel like a Caitie clone, foregoing her own principles for Caitie's approval. During a painful quarrel, she tells Caitie that she isn't ready to be grown up. Hannah's mother, however, helps her understand that Caitie really does value her individuality, while Hannah herself realizes that she doesn't ``have to go along with everything the other girls [do]. She could still be Hannah, different from the others, but liking them, too.'' Mills, who has a gift for creating likable characters and catching a child's perception of problems, is the author of a substantial body of deftly crafted stories about middle-grade girls; Hannah is a worthy addition to the roster. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 15, 1991

ISBN: 0-02-767011-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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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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