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Araboolies of Liberty Street

Araboolies of Liberty Street

5.0 2
by Sam Swope

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The kids of Liberty Street join forces to help the Araboolies when mean General Pinch orders them to move because they look different.


The kids of Liberty Street join forces to help the Araboolies when mean General Pinch orders them to move because they look different.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The General and Mrs. Pinch rule the residents of Liberty Street, prohibiting all laughter, activity, and games . . . Then the Araboolies move in . . . Life becomes chaotic, exciting, wonderul, and fun -- until the General calls in the army . . . Thought-provoking.” —Starred, Booklist
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On Liberty Street, where all the houses look alike, General Pinch and his skinny wife are in charge. Whenever it appears that anyone is having fun, the general threatens to call in the army; in this way, he keeps the neighborhood quiet and dull. Enter the Araboolies, undefinable creatures of lively, fun-loving temperament and psychedelic color combinations. The Araboolies are ``not the neatest people in the world, truth to tell,'' for they put furniture in the yard and even watch TV outside. When General Pinch makes good on his threats and calls in the army to vanquish the group, a girl named Joy resists. Her efforts pay off; the Pinches are carted off instead of the Araboolies. The many-sided satire on fascism is wordy and repetitive, and the only focus on a child character--Joy--occurs two-thirds of the way through. But the messages of freedom, individualism and tolerance are strong. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-- When the colorful, noisy, multihued Araboolies move to conventional, quiet Liberty Street, General Pinch and his wife are horrified. And when the Araboolies paint their house in bright zigzags, camp on the front lawn, and engage the neighborhood children in wild and joyful games, General Pinch calls out the army. Quickly the children decorate every house with paints, banners and balloons, leaving the General's house as the ``weird one'' on the block. Following orders to find the house that is different, the soldiers tie up the Pinch's house and drag it away. Brightly colored, sweeping, full double-page paintings enliven this modern fable of people vs. government. Swope's message may well be that diversity and individuality are good, but what comes through in the story is the sense that modern neighborhoods, no matter how ordinary, exist under the threat of military enforcement. The fact that the children of the neighborhood are able to cover up the radical individualism of the dissident family and turn the tables on the General himself gives no comfort. The pictures are full of action and entertainment, and the book can prove useful--not for the lighthearted story that was probably intended, but for consideration of the seldom-discussed role of the military in modern societies. The creators of this book, perhaps unwittingly, have produced that rarity, a picture book that deals with political issues as well as more subtle social themes of tolerance, conformity, and the rights of the individual in a community. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ

Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Sunburst Bks.
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.11(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Sam Swope lives in New York City and teaches creative writing in schools across the country and on the Internet.

Barry Root is the illustrator of many books for children. He lives in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.

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Araboolies of Liberty Street 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My chldren loved this book, and so did I. It has a quirky sense of humor, and a very important message about being 'different'--and about tolerance as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book to help teach children that it is okay to be different; and that individual differences should be recognized and cherished! It is filled with wonderful pictures and thoughtful words!