Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

February 10, 2011


By Frank Cottrell Boyce
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Twelve year old Liam is very tall for his age.  In fact, he looks quite a bit like a grown man.  Well, what boy wouldn't find a way to take advantage of that?  So Liam convinces his friend Florida to play his daughter, and they wander around town having all sorts of fun until Liam's dad finally catches them.  Liam stops his scamming...until a truly amazing opportunity comes up--Liam wins a contest to ride the best new thrill ride ever created before anyone else does. It would be totally cosmic.  If he can convince Florida to play his daughter one more time, they can go to this secret location for the ride.  But when he does convince her, he finds that the thrill ride is a lot more cosmic than he could have guessed it to be. And to pretend to be a dad is a lot more effort--and love--than he ever gave credit to his parents.  This is a funny adventure that still packs an emotional punch--everyone will love it!

What Happened on Fox Street

By Tricia Springstubb
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Mo has spent her entire life on Fox Street; she was even born on it.  And she loves the comfort of knowing every house, every neighbor.  She even keeps looking for a real fox in the wilderness at the end of the street.  But then this summer, everything seems to change.  Her best friend Mercedes comes to visit like always to stay with her grandmother, and she reveals her parents might make Da move back to the city with them.  Then when some developers seem interested in buying property on the street, Mo worries her father might take their money and buy that restaurant he's always wanted.  Then grumpy Mrs. Steinbott suddenly starts talking to Mo, wanting her to bring gifts to Mercey.  Why would she do that?  And Mo's little wild sister, Dottie, seems too much for Mo to have to look after with everything else going on.  Is this the summer that everything changes on Fox Street?  And how is Mo going to handle it?  A great little story about learning to resist change or roll with the punches.  Very enjoyable.

February 02, 2011

Because of Mr. Terupt

By Rob Buyea
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

This story is told through the eyes of 7 different students in first year teacher's Mr. Terupt's 5th grade class.  There is class clown Peter, smart kid Luke, new girl Jessica, bully Alexia, uninterested Peter, overweight Danielle, shy Anna.  Each student has their own point of view and each one also has a little something to hide in their life.  But what they all have in common is enjoying the way Mr. Terupt is teaching, and bit by bit, the class begins to not only learn but to grow up a little, too.  But then one day--a day meant to be lots of fun--a terrible accident occurs.  Whose fault is what happens?  And what will the consequences be?  Readers will be drawn into the story and wonder right along with the kids if the accident could have been avoided and if things could have been different.  Either way, it is a strong story that is easily swallowed in a couple of big bites and readers will definitely like Mr. Terupt as much as his class.