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Hound Dog Trueby Linda Urban
Synopses & Reviews
Custodial Wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down in her top-secret silver notebook. Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing. Unplug cords as soon as you are done using them. School is about to start and Mattie has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his Custodial Apprentice. After all, although Potluck is full of expertise (and funny stories), what busy school custodian can't use a little extra help? Better yet, her apprentice job can keep Mattie tucked out of sight in the basement office and out of her new classroom. Away from a class full of fifth-graders who will stare at the silent new girl. Shy, some will say. Stuck up, others will whisper. No way will Mattie open her mouth. And no way will she share the contents of her notebook.
Yet Mattie's plan comes crashing down one day when her Custodial Wisdom goes all wrong. Quincy Sweet, visiting next door, threatens the plan, too. And Mama doesn't help. But little by little, everything going wrong might begin to show Mattie what's rightabout sharing a part of herself. About doing one small, brave thing. About making a friend she can trust with her secretsa friend who is hound dog true.
"Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect) traces a highly self-conscious child's cautious emergence from her shell in this tender novel about new beginnings and 'small brave' acts. Fifth grader Mattie Breen doesn't share her mother's eagerness to pick up stakes whenever 'the going gets tough.' Mattie hates starting over at unfamiliar schools, but when her mother announces they will be living with Uncle Potluck, Mattie feels hopeful, for once. Uncle Potluck tells funny, larger-than-life stories — the kind of stories Mattie likes to write, but is embarrassed to share with others. Mattie hopes that Uncle Potluck will make her his 'custodial apprentice' at the school where he works (and which she'll attend) and that this time she'll finally find a 'true, tell-your-secrets-to' friend. Urban's understated, borderline naÃ¯f narrative gives voice to Mattie's many uncertainties ('Always Mattie has been shy. Always school had made her feel skittish and small') while expressing the quiet yet significant moments in her day-to-day life. Mattie's growing trust of others and her attempts to be 'bold and friendly' lead to gratifying rewards for Mattie and poignant moments for readers. Ages 9 — 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.
But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.
Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.
An irresistible debut novel, full of warmth and sass, now in paperback
Acclaimed author Linda Urban captures the sweet humor and tenderness of finding one's voice and making a friend, even when that seems impossible.
Who knows the best way to be mad? Bear stomps. Hare hops. Bobcat screams. Mouse? He just can't get it right. But when he finds the way that works for him--still and quiet--he discovers that his own way might be the best of all.
Linda Urban's story about self-expression is both sweet and sly, and Henry Cole's cast of animal friends is simply irresistible.
“Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing.” Fifth-grader Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice before school starts. As his apprentice, shell have important work to do during lunch and recess . . . work that will keep her safely away from other fifth-graders. But when Matties plans come crashing down, she ends up with a friend who is hound dog true.
About the Author
Jacqueline Davies is the talented author of two novels, as well as picture books. Jacqueline lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children.
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