Saturday, February 1, 2020

Smack Dab News


KIRKUS REVIEW:WISHES, DARES, AND HOW TO STAND UP TO A BULLY by Darlene Beck Jacobson
Review Issue Date: February 15, 2020
Online Publish Date: January 21, 2020
Publisher:Creston
Pages: 275
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-939547-62-0
Category: Fiction

With his father missing in action in Vietnam, 11-year-old Jack faces a long, lonely summer at his grandparents' home. While the enthusiasm for life his younger sister, Katy, displays does much to lift his spirits, it's the companionship of his new friend, Jill, that makes all the difference. She's dealing with major problems of her own. Ever since their mother recently struck up a dysfunctional relationship with a manipulative man, Jill's brother, Cody, has turned into a severe bully. Jack and Jill, apparently white, become convinced that the wishes they make over a one-eyed fish they repeatedly catch have real power—but a badly worded wish can seemingly have devastating consequences. Jack's afraid to wish for his father's return from war for fear he might come home dead. Jill's tentative wishes to resolve Cody's nastiness only gradually reveal the true nature of the boy's problems and what the real solution involves. The tale is related in free verse, short lines and spare prose cascading narrowly down the pages, conveying a powerful message of bully management: "Bullies need our permission to / rule over us." This realization is enhanced by insight Jack's own dad provides through a boyhood diary, suggesting that even bullies might need friendship. Although it's set in the 1960s, the story reflects timeless issues that will resonate with modern readers. A fresh, inspiring exploration of a daunting issue. (Historical verse fiction. 9-12)


Just days shy of its release 12 years ago...
 The Gollywhopper Games is finally coming out in audio! The two others in the series will soon follow. Thanks, Recorded Books!


-- 

2 comments: