Encore, Grace!

Overview

School has started, but Grace and her friends are still talking about their exciting summer. After all, what could top performing in a professional musical? Fortunately there's one good thing to look forward to ... the rumor is a new girl is joining their class, and Grace thinks her arrival should spice things up a bit. But will the new girl become one of the gang, or one of the stuck-up girls to steer clear of? Maybe neither, as Grace finds herself competing with newcomer Crishell for the teacher's attention in ...
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Overview

School has started, but Grace and her friends are still talking about their exciting summer. After all, what could top performing in a professional musical? Fortunately there's one good thing to look forward to ... the rumor is a new girl is joining their class, and Grace thinks her arrival should spice things up a bit. But will the new girl become one of the gang, or one of the stuck-up girls to steer clear of? Maybe neither, as Grace finds herself competing with newcomer Crishell for the teacher's attention in class. Even worse, Ms. Woollacott assigns them to work together on the upcoming school play. Is there enough room in the spotlight for both of them? Meanwhile, there are more changes coming, including some that will reshape the family forever. Always ready to take charge, Grace faces each new challenge head-on. And, fans of Amazing Grace will be happy to see our heroine appearing on stage in another unexpected role -- as Grace and a classmate use their writers' magic to give an old fairy tale a more modern flair. Anything's possible where Grace is concerned!

Grace and her group of friends, the Famous Five, face a variety of changes, including a new girl in class, taking part in the Christmas play, losing a dear friend, and challenging the grown-ups in their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The African-American heroine first introduced in the picture book Amazing Grace returns for her fourth adventure, a chapter book: Encore, Grace! by Mary Hoffman, illus. by June Allan. Grace and her group of friends face a number of changes, including a new classmate, the school play, the death of a family friend and a dangerous afternoon when the gang skips school. Grace grows and matures as she deals with these and other major events. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In this sequel to Starring Grace, Hoffman's spunky African-American heroine is at first jealous of the new girl at school, who has even better ideas for the class play of "Sleeping Beauty" than Grace does—which is saying a lot! But Grace manages to calm the "green-eyed monster" within when she learns that Crishell, however creative and wealthy, is deeply unhappy at home, living with her divorced and borderline anorexic mother. Coming to understand Crishell is only the first of a series of changes for Grace, including dealing with the death of a beloved and elderly neighbor, orchestrating a day of ice-skating hooky from school that has near-tragic consequences, having her best friend move away, and gradually accepting her divorced mother's relationship with her new boyfriend. Although Hoffman gives Grace some undeniably difficult issues to face—envy, loss, disobedience, death—the tone of the story is consistently sunny. Grace is eminently likeable, whatever mood she is in, and her gang of friends is as good-natured as she is. Even bully Russell is expeditiously dealt with, in a brisk and amusing way. If one friend leaves, another new friend comes; if an elderly friend dies, her death is mourned, but only as her life is honored and celebrated. With so many children's books today relentlessly focused on the negative, one can understand why readers would hunger for more time spent in the company of "amazing" Grace and her loving and loveable family and friends. 2003, Dial, Ages 7 to 10.
—Claudia Mills
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-This chapter book, which features a character first introduced in the picture book Amazing Grace (1991), has an old-fashioned tone. Grace and her friends play imaginatively, adults are mostly understanding, and even word choices seem dated. However, Grace is faced with challenges that are universal and timeless. She must deal with the death of an elderly neighbor, saying good-bye to a friend who moves away, and feelings of jealousy when a bright new girl at school tries to steal the show. She must also face the consequences after being caught skipping school, and worries that her mother may remarry. As in Starring Grace (2000, both Dial), the lively protagonist gets to act in a play, this time an updated version of Sleeping Beauty. Settings are spare, feelings are sometimes described more than shown, and Grace's friends and loving African-American family do not come to life. Allan's occasional black-and-white sketches do not radiate much emotion or action. Encore, Grace! is a pleasant read but only a first purchase where the earlier books are popular.-Tina Zubak, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Confident, determined Grace is back in a new school year sporting lots of changes that challenge her comfort zone within her circle of friends and immediate family. A new girl in class spawns some jealousy and unsure feelings while best friend Aimee's impending move across the country provides much concern for both girls. Grief comes with the death of beloved neighbor, Mrs. Myerson, and a daring, foolish ice-skating episode nearly results in a tragic end, bringing fear and a new-found admiration for mother's fiance, Vincent. As in the previous titles, Grace copes and adjusts with the help of her Nana's quiet, wise advice and her own intuitive strength and resolve. Hoffman's successful African-American protagonist provides a wonderful role model for today's multicultural school community in this second volume of short, clear, event-filled chapters. Black-and-white drawings emulate the originals by Caroline Birch, though not quite capturing all the nuances of each character and scene. Good discussion material as well as realistic early fiction for read-aloud sessions. (Fiction. 8-11)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142418543
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 790,878
  • Age range: 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.68 (w) x 5.04 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, and her powers of observation bring vitality and humour to all her stories and retellings.

Her previous titles for Dorling Kindersley include Henry's Baby and A First Bible Story Book. Her best-known picture books are Amazing Grace, Three Wise Women, and An Angel Just Like Me. Mary lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and they have three daughters. The girls were brought up on myths and legends, of which Mary and her husband have an extensive collection.

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Table of Contents

Grace and the New Girl 7
Grace and the Green-Eyed Monster 18
Grace and the Toad 31
Grace and the Changes 44
Grace says Good-bye 59
Grace on Thin Ice 71
Wicked Grace 85
Grace Moves On 97
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