Breaking Out

Breaking Out

by Barth Declements
     
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Life isn't getting any simpler for Jerry Johnson, the sympathetic character featured in DeClements's Five Finger Discount and Monkey See, Monkey Do . Caught stealing while on parole, his father is once again back in prison, and his mother has married her boss, a cold, stingy restaurant owner. But Jerry, now 12, makes the best of his less than perfect situation, and faces the social and emotional trials of seventh grade with gritty determination and good humor. Ms. Castle, Jerry's warmhearted English teacher and Grace, the girl next door, are strong allies of the plucky boy, whose experiences range from enduring an anxiety-filled visit to his father to landing a starring role in a TV commercial. As in the previous volumes in this trilogy, the author's depiction of Jerry's relationships with both adults and peers is entirely convincing. At once realistic and uplifting, this is exemplary middle grade fiction. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-- Jerry Johnson, Jr., the narrator and hero of Five Finger Discount (1989) and Monkey See, Monkey Do (1990, both Delacorte) has entered junior high school. His mother has married a dull but steady man named Willard and his father is still serving a prison term. Through the help of an enthusiastic English teacher, Jerry recovers from the embarrassment of his father's criminal background. It's his long-time friend, Grace, who has the harder time adjusting to junior high. Her frumpy clothes and inability to stand up for herself make her an easy target for ridicule. By the novel's end, however, Grace has regained some of her old spirit, and Jerry is the school celebrity--thanks to an acting part in a locally produced commercial. Again, DeClements has created wholly believable and sympathetic characters. She always gets the details of school life right; and she handles the first-person narration well, making Jerry immensely likable. A few of the plot lines (such as a stolen car at the beginning of the novel) get lost, but this is forgivable in a novel in which character rather than plot takes precedence. --Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440408024
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
07/01/1993
Pages:
144
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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