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Ari and Danny have been inseparable friends and neighbors, living in their own world of magic kits, movies, and mythical games. When he moves away, she's left to face Marina, Queen of the fifth grade. Standing up to Marina shows Ari that she's spunkier than she ever suspected, and that she can create her own magic without Danny by her side.

When her best friend, Danny, moves away, leaving eleven-year-old Ariadne alone on the "brink of adolescence," she discovers, ...

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Overview

Ari and Danny have been inseparable friends and neighbors, living in their own world of magic kits, movies, and mythical games. When he moves away, she's left to face Marina, Queen of the fifth grade. Standing up to Marina shows Ari that she's spunkier than she ever suspected, and that she can create her own magic without Danny by her side.

When her best friend, Danny, moves away, leaving eleven-year-old Ariadne alone on the "brink of adolescence," she discovers, with the help of several classmates, a favorite teacher, and even her older sister, that change is part of growing.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Living "in a simple red house... with an ordinary mom, an ordinary dad, and an ordinary sister," fifth-grader Ariadne Spire longs to discover something "sensational" about herself. With her best friend, Danny, she conducts her search via comic-book and gossip-magazine advertisements, mailing in for magic potions and telephoning psychics. But when Danny moves away, she feels lost and wishes she could navigate her way through the maze of growing up. Instead, there are obstacles in her path, like a nasty substitute teacher, Mrs. Zwort, and a manipulative classmate who seems to want Ari to join her tiny clique. First-novelist Glassman brings a certain ambitiousness to an essentially familiar theme, overlaying her narrative with skillful references to the myth of Ariadne and to Ari's favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz. While she misses some opportunities for developing her characters (e.g., she fast-forwards through such scenes as Danny's move), and while the resolution seems easy (Ari, like Dorothy, discovers happiness more or less in her own backyard), her writing is often dotted with color: "Ari's mother had a way of pronouncing certain words as though she were pumping blood into them. When an ordinary word like dog came out... Ari could really sense a big, smelly dog." Although this novel may not be fully achieved, the writer shows clear promise. Ages 9-12. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6Ari Spire has eclectic interests and hobbies, which include old Hollywood musicals, supermarket tabloids, and sending away for magic kits and other goodies advertised on the backs of comic books. She has a soul mate in fellow fifth-grader Danny, her partner in weirdness, with whom she is attempting to construct the world's longest gun-wrapper chain. When he moves two towns away, Ari is lonely and desperate enough to try insinuating herself into the popular crowd in her class. However, she soon realizes that acceptance in this group would mean having to disguise her true nature, and so ultimately she forges new friendships with the other oddballs in her class, even as she keeps in touch with Danny. The details of everyday fifth-grade life are authentic and funny. Ari's foray into popularity is brief enough to be believable; readers understand her yearning to be accepted but know that she is simply too sensible to stay with that nasty clique for long. Finally, the friendship between Ari and Danny is as classic as the movies they both worship; even as they try to cope with the stress of distance and inevitable changes, it's obvious that they are linked by ties far stronger than the world's longest gum-wrapper chain. An engaging and spirited first novel.Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440414179
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/9/1999
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 184
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 840L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 7.66 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2000

    PERFECT PICK FOR PRETEEN!

    I really enjoyed this fun book, and would reccomend it to any kid, ages 10 to 14. All my friends ADORED it. I wrote a letter to the author, and she was really friendly too!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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