Joey Storch tries to be on his best behavior in order to keep his third grade teacher, Ms. Mirabella, from retiring
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Joey Storch, otherwise known as Spider, is not happy when his mother becomes friends with the mother of his third-grade classroom nemesis, the tattle-tale Mary Grace; he is horrified when the two mothers decide to carpool to school. It's bad enough that he has to ride in the same car with Mary Grace, but it's worse when the other children tease him about being in love with her. Spider decides that the only solution is to break up the friendship, so he tells Mary Grace's mother that his mother burps when she sings and has bad handwriting; he also plays a prank with a recipe. Sharratt's comic black-and-white illustrations provide scenes of fun that aren't realized in the text, and when it comes to the characterizations, the playing field is pitched on the side of the adults: The mothers are unfailing in their forbearance while Spider and Mary Grace (and their classmates) are obnoxious. While Spider feels remorse and apologizes, it's more a manipulation of the plot than any crisis of conscience he's shown himself capable of resolving. The most interesting twist--Spider's changes to a recipe for a dish that Mary Grace's divorced mother plans to serve to a possible love interest--has the potential for humor, but even that is dissolved when he prematurely confesses. (Fiction. 7-10) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From School Library Journal:
Grade 2-4?Joey "Spider" Storch is an eight-year-old with a guilty conscience in this humor-filled chapter book. He believes that his behavior?trying to set a classmate's hair on fire with a magnifying glass, pretending to be kidnapped for a ransom, and daring a friend to stick a raisin up his nose?prompted his teacher's decision to retire before the end of the school year. Determined to prove that he can be a model student, the boy tries to reinvent himself to keep Ms. Mirabella from leaving. When his efforts prove unsuccessful, Joey works up the courage to ask her to stay. During a heart-to-heart talk, he learns that she had liked him all along and that he is not responsible for her decision. Willner-Pardo has created a character whom most readers will readily recognize. Joey's mix of mischief and sensitivity is well balanced and keeps the action flowing. Sharratt's lively, imaginative black-and-white cartoons mesh well with the appealing plot; spider doodles on several pages lend an extra touch of humor. Fans of Suzy Kline's "Horrible Harry" series (Viking) will find a new friend in Joey "Spider" Storch. Libraries needing books to hook reluctant readers will want to add this easy-to-read chapter book.?Maura Bresnahan, Topsfield Town Library, MA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Albert Whitman & Co, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Nick Sharratt (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M080757578X