Juvenile Fiction Avi Punch With Judy

ISBN 13: 9780027077551

Punch With Judy

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9780027077551: Punch With Judy

As a worker for Joe McSneed's traveling medicine show, Punch finds that, although Joe and his daughter, Judy, like him, the rest of the troupe merely tolerates him--a fact he would like to change.

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About the Author:

Avi is the award-winning author of more than seventy-five books for young readers, ranging from animal fantasy to gripping historical fiction, picture books to young adult novels. Crispin: The Cross of Lead won the Newbery Medal, and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth were awarded Newbery Honors. He is also the author of the popular Poppy series. Avi lives outside Denver, Colorado. You can visit him online at www.avi-writer.com.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-- Avi's style here doesn't work well, and this offering won't be among his popular works. After the Civil War, a young street performer is taken in by a traveling showman with an acrobatic wife (sort of a show biz Mr. and Mrs. Macawber), their daughter Judy, and an assortment of ragtag entertainers. The boy, dubbed Punch, becomes general servant to the rest, tries to please everyone, but is constantly abused and berated. When her father dies and her mother loses touch with reality, Judy tries to run the operation. As the troupe struggles to survive, Punch tries to establish himself. He also struggles with his love for Judy, a futile crush, he being 12 years old and she old enough to marry. As in a Punch and Judy show or commedia dell'arte, the tale is cast with stock characters. There is a cruel streak present here that's made all the more chilling because the voice is so objective, so removed from any involvement, any sense of a warm presence. Punch, as is his puppet forbear, is pounded on, emotionally and, finally, physically. Illustrated with black-and-white heavy ink drawings in a naive style, this book keeps readers at a distance. Perhaps the aimlessness of the performers is a metaphor for the state of the country post-war. Other than that, there's little sense of time or place, and events occur without much preparation. There is minimal character development, and in spite of the stated action and conflict, there is no tension. Instead, the book is a stark outline of a story within a stylistic exercise. Are readers expected to provide the human context? If so, it seems likely that few will be interested. --Sally Margolis, Deerfield Public Library, IL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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