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Children's LiteratureHank Zipzer has just finished fourth grade. Instead of a summer of relaxation, he must go to summer school while his two best friends, Frankie and Ashley, attend an exciting summer camp—the Junior Explorers Program. Hank has had trouble at school because he has "learning challenges." This means he has difficulty recalling facts and he does not perform well under pressure. Lucky for Hank, his summer school teacher is both a good friend and sympathetic teacher. Unfortunately, all the Junior Explorers will be going on a sleepover at the end of the week. Hank's dad says that Hank can only join his friends at the festivities if he gets an "A" in his summer school oral report. Hank comes up with a clever plan to achieve this goal but he is not confident that he can pull it off. The characters and plot are fairly predictable but the protagonist's panic, insecurities, and learning difficulties are realistically portrayed. The book has no interior illustrations but the chapter headings are decorated as if from a page torn from a crumpled school notebook. Each chapter has a different doodle on the first page. This title is part of the "Hank Zipper" series, which also includes Niagara Falls or Does It, I Got a "D" in Salami, Day of the Iguana, The Zippity Zinger, The Night I Flunked My Field Trip, Holy Enchilada, and Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade. 2005, Grosset and Dunlap, Ages 8 to 12.
—Sally J. K. Davies