School Library JournalGr 4-6-When his best friend Robbie is suddenly interested in hanging out with the older boys in school, Jeremy starts spending more time with the elderly man next door. Piled high with all kinds of discarded and used ``treasures,'' Mr. Applebaum's garage is a trove of possibilities that fascinates and encourages the boy's imagination. But when a child breaks an arm falling into a fort that Jeremy built on the cluttered property, the girl's father insists that everything collected over the years be cleared out. Jeremy feels he is to blame. He watches with despair as his elderly friend grows increasingly despondent. At the same time, Robbie is accused of vandalizing some local shops with paint stolen from Mr. Applebaum. Jeremy decides that he must find a solution to help both of his friends. The events take a back seat to the emotional development of the main character. Readers will recognize the strong bonds in Jeremy's family, which extend into the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the story, though well written, is bland.-Jana R. Fine, Clearwater Public Library System, FL
Elizabeth BushJeremy's family and neighbors see only what they choose to see. Mom sees only that Robbie is her best friend's son, which is recommendation enough for the boys to play together. She doesn't notice that Robbie has abandoned Jeremy and his fifth-grade friends to run with an older, troublesome pack that Jeremy distrusts. Andrea, Jeremy's older sister, sees an elusive gray house mouse as a potential dissection project, not as Jeremy's longed-for "pet." The neighbors see laconic old Mr. Applebaum as the owner of the community eyesore--a messy garage and yard--unless they need his advice, spare parts, or repair work. But after Robbie's new pals commit an act of vandalism that implicates Jeremy and Applebaum, several events occur that cause all to reconsider their relationships and responsibilities toward one another. Characters are never fully developed, but issues concerning individual rights versus community responsibility are raised in a nondidactic fashion. Applebaum's social withdrawal following a child's accident in his yard is well-portrayed, and the three plot strands involving Robbie, the mouse, and Applebaum are tied together neatly into a satisfying ending.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.94(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.73(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 11 Years
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Applebaum's Garage based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This will make a good gift from the parents to their kids entering their teenage.