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When Life Gives You O.J.by Erica S Perl
Synopses & Reviews
For years, 10-year-old Zelly Fried has tried to convince her parents to let her have a dog. After all, practically everyone in Vermont owns a dog, and it sure could go a long way helping Zelly fit in since moving there from Brooklyn. But when her eccentric grandfather Ace hatches a ridiculous plan involving a "practice dog" named OJ, Zelly's not so sure how far she's willing to go to win a dog of her own. Is Ace's plan so crazy it just might work . . . or is it just plain crazy?
Erica S. Perl weaves an affectionate and hilarious tale that captures the enduring bond between grandparents and grandchildren. Even when they're driving each other nuts.
"In this warm novel about family, friendship, and fitting in, 10-year-old Zelly and her family move from Brooklyn to Vermont to live with her recently widowed grandfather, Ace. An eccentric and vociferous retired judge who spouts Yiddish sayings and outlandish fish tales, Ace devises a plan for Zelly to prove to her parents that she's responsible enough to get a dog. He gives her a 'practice dog' — an orange juice jug 'named' O.J. — that she must care for as she would a real dog. After Zelly's insightful new friend Jeremy (the only other Jewish peer she's met) advises her to start a dog-walking business, she drags her ersatz pet along. Perl (Vintage Veronica) offers a refreshing take on the grandparent-grandchild rapport. Ace's bossiness and brashness irk Zelly (he may have this effect on readers, too, as his speech is unfortunately rendered in all caps for most of the novel), yet there is a poignant undercurrent of love between them, as well as shared grieving for Zelly's grandmother. The novel strikes an admirable balance of humor and pathos — at times in the same scene. Ages 8 — 12. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
ERICA S. PERL is the author several picture books and the young adult novel Vintage Veronica, which Publishers Weekly called "wonderfully fun!" In addition to writing books, Erica works at First Book, the groundbreaking non-profit organization that has provided over 70 million brand new books to children in need. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.
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