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Call Me Oklahoma!
     

Call Me Oklahoma!

by Miriam Glassman
 

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"From now on, call me Oklahoma!" nine-year-old Paige Turner announces on the first day of fourth grade. She is determined that this year she will be different: someone gutsy—brave enough to stand up to her tormentor, class bully Viveca Frye. It takes a lot of work for Paige to bring out her inner Oklahoma, but she's helped along the way by her best friend,

Overview

"From now on, call me Oklahoma!" nine-year-old Paige Turner announces on the first day of fourth grade. She is determined that this year she will be different: someone gutsy—brave enough to stand up to her tormentor, class bully Viveca Frye. It takes a lot of work for Paige to bring out her inner Oklahoma, but she's helped along the way by her best friend, her sympathetic teacher, her bratty cousin, and some hilarious but inspiring events at home and at school.

Paige does manage to overcome most of her fears, and in the process she learns that a true friend offers all the courage she needs.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Paige Turner has the kind of name that encourages bad, punny jokes. She wants to start fourth grade as a new person, someone brash and brave, who would never be pushed around by the likes of snooty Viveca Frye. So Paige announces her new name, “Oklahoma” (“a name with guts”), and hopes the new person will follow. Paige’s older brother, Conrad, mocks her new name, as does Viveca, but Paige’s best friend Gavi has her back—until a book fair, a stuffed monkey, and Paige’s unexpected alliance with Viveca come between the two girls. Glassman (Box Top Dreams) has a solid handle on the desire for reinvention that drives Paige’s name change—she is hardly the first fourth-grader who has wished to be called by a different name. Although ever-annoying Conrad often comes across like a younger—not older—brother, the sparring between the siblings will be familiar to many a put-upon reader. Filled with humorous and believable details and dialogue, Paige’s journey of self-discovery should keep readers hooked. Ages 7–10. Agent: Ann Tobias, A Literary Agency for Children’s Books (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—A humorous and encouraging tale about standing up to bullies of all shapes and sizes and remaining true to oneself. When Paige Turner announces to her family at breakfast that she's going to be a new person in the fourth grade, she really means it: from her new red clogs, to her matching bandana, all the way up to her name. Paige insists that she be called "Oklahoma," sure that the courageous moniker will pave the way for a brave, new Paige. As she deals with high monkey bars, asserting herself, and the class talent show, she learns that being brave is about more than just a name. The story also highlights the importance of being a good friend and acting responsibly. Paige is an inspiring and lighthearted character whom kids will like. Recommend this one to fans of Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones and Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy.—Terry Ann Lawler, Burton Barr Library, Phoenix, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Nine-year-old Paige Turner is tired of being timid--but she needs a new name to go with her new identity. The beginning of fourth-grade seems like the ideal time to change. Paige is determined to be brave this year: do flips on the high bar at recess, stand up to the class bully, Viveca Frye, and maybe, just maybe, even eat cauliflower. The name Oklahoma feels perfect for her new, gutsy personality. After all, at the end of the musical Oklahoma! everyone comes out on stage and yells, "Yee-haw!" A person who yells yee-haw is precisely who Paige wants to be. But changing names is not easy. And neither, as Paige learns, is fourth grade. Questions of popularity and loyalty test her friendships, and the annual talent show has her terrified. But with the help of an inspired teacher and a trusty piano on which to bang and clang out her frustrations, Paige realizes that she doesn't need to change herself entirely. She can keep a little Oklahoma inside, just in case. Glassman's spot illustrations have the same energy as her swift prose; Paige's symbolic lassos are swinging all over the pages. Though it's not quite as layered as some other beginning chapter books, young readers who are searching for their own selves will certainly appreciate this new heroine. (Fiction. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823427420
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,103,491
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Miriam Glassman lives in Framingham, Massachusetts. She worked as a children's book reviewer and as an illustrator for an educational publisher. She received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of a picture book, Halloweena, and a middle-grade novel, Box Top Dreams.

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