I've Already Forgotten Your Name, Philip Hall!

Overview

Join the irrepressible Beth Lambert as she goes home after a long visit with her grandmother in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Beth is happy to see her friends the Pretty Pennies, and even happier to see her family (and eat her mother's fried turkey, tamale pie, and floradora potatoes), but she might just be happiest of all to see her best friend, Philip Hall.

But not for long, because Philip gets it into his head (with a little help from Beth) that she made a new friend in Walnut ...

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Overview

Join the irrepressible Beth Lambert as she goes home after a long visit with her grandmother in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Beth is happy to see her friends the Pretty Pennies, and even happier to see her family (and eat her mother's fried turkey, tamale pie, and floradora potatoes), but she might just be happiest of all to see her best friend, Philip Hall.

But not for long, because Philip gets it into his head (with a little help from Beth) that she made a new friend in Walnut Ridge — a boyfriend. Now Philip won't rest until he meets this "nutty Walnutter" face-to-face in an arm-wrestling match in front of the whole town. There's only one problem — Beth's new friend doesn't exist. She made him up! Once again Beth's mouth has gotten her into trouble. And once again she'll have to do some fast talking to see if she can get herself out of it.


About the Author

Bette Greene's first novel, Summer of My German Soldier, hailed as "an exceptionally fine novel" by the New York Times, has become a modern classic. Published in 1973, this beloved book has inspired an Emmy Award–winning television film and a recent stage musical. The first book in the Philip Hall series, Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe., was a 1975 Newbery Honor Book and a 1974 New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year.

Born in a small Arkansas town, Bette Greene has lived in Memphis, Tennessee, Paris, France, and New York City. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, Donald.

Beth Lambert, a teenaged girl who lives in the small town of Pocahantas, Arkansas, experiences the ups and downs of friendship with members of the Pretty Penny Club and best friend Philip Hall.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Containing a folksier flavor than Greene's novels geared for older readers (The Summer of My German Soldier), this addition to the sequence begun with Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe focuses on small-town rivalry. Spunky heroine Beth Lambert-a loyal resident of the mostly African-American town of Pocahontas, Ark.-creates quite a stir when she claims to have a boyfriend from neighboring Walnut Ridge who can out-arm- wrestle just about anybody. Her intent is to make handsome Philip Hall jealous, but Beth's plan backfires when the whole town gets wind of her story about the imaginary "Tyrone the Cyclone," and the mayor sets a wrestling match between Philip and Tyrone. While citizens prepare for the festivities (and a chance to finally beat Walnut Ridge at a sport), Beth tries to figure out how to confess the truth without losing face. Readers will not doubt for a moment that Beth will find a way out of her pickle, but her struggle will elicit chuckles as well as sympathetic moans. Few writers can do comedy with Greene's panache, as demonstrated in an early scene during which Beth returns from Walnut Ridge and reunites with the members of her club, the Pretty Pennies, who have begun to regret having secretly voted Beth out of office and elected a bossy new president who cares more for decorum than fun. This novel is likely to draw even reluctant readers with its fast-moving action and humor. Ages 10-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Beth Lambert is a high-spirited young lady who manages to get herself into tight spots just being who she is—an inquisitive, determined, fun-loving girl. It is exactly these traits that get her elected president of the Pretty Penny club. "They wouldn't know what to do without me stirring up, mixing up, and cooking up some delicious little bits and bites of excitement." The club is fine, but it does not offer quite enough challenge. So Beth starts her own agency, "The Elizabeth Lorraine Lambert & Friend Detective Agency." And, she says, "We solve crimes. Little crimes in a little bit of time, big crimes take a little bit longer!" The friend, as in the other half of the detective team, is Philip Hall. According to Beth, he has a "sweet face" and "skin the way God intended skin to be, the color of milk chocolate with maybe a tad of yellow sunshine mixed in." Her activities as an investigator plunge her into trouble forcing her to lay low with her grandmother, Mama Regina in a neighboring town. Newbery Honor author, Bette Greene weaves in enough mischief, fanciful allusions to a Gorilla Man—Monster of the Mountain, with unique words and phrases to capture the imagination. For instance, "eraser words" strike an understanding chord. "Reckon my mama taught me about some of those wonderful words that can rub out all the hurt feelings between words." The consequences of Beth's antics illustrate the importance of telling the truth and of doing the right thing. 2004, HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Francine Thomas
KLIATT
Readers of Greene's other Philip Hall books will be happy to meet up with 11-year-old Beth Lambert again. In this installment, she's fresh from a visit to her grandmother's in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, where she worked hard trying NOT to think about Philip Hall, her friend, partner in crime solving, and maybe even something more. Her homecoming to Pocahontas is full of surprises, though. She is no longer the president of the Pretty Pennies social club, her brother's soon-to-be-famous singing pig, Baby Beth, has been pignapped, and by telling a piglet-sized lie, she has set in motion events that have riled up not one, but two rival towns. Now, she has to fix it all! Written in vernacular and reading like a fable, the story follows Beth and Philip searching for clues that lead them to an unlikely pignapper. Readers will agonize with Beth as she keeps quiet while the new president of the Pretty Pennies is too preoccupied with writing an endless list of rules to plan the annual Swing-Your-Partner dance. But most of all, they will root for Beth as she tries desperately to undo the trouble that her jealousy has caused. Greene's Philip Hall books appeal to young readers through Beth's self-consciously funny adventures and through Greene's playful use of language. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2004, HarperCollins, 167p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Michele Winship
VOYA
Philip Hall is cute, brave, funny, and according to Beth Lambert, one of the most infuriating boys in the world. When Beth returns from a long visit with her grandmother in nearby Walnut Ridge, she sees that things have changed. She finds herself at odds with her former friends, the Pretty Pennies. Then her best friend and somewhat secret crush, Philip, accuses her of taking up with another boy while she was away. Furious, Beth allows him to believe that the fictitious Cyclone Tyrone is not only crazy about her but is also a champion arm wrestler. Philip is jealous of course, but there is one problem: He wants to challenge Tyrone to an arm wrestling tournament for the entire town to see. The ensuing chaos from this deceit forms the basis for this novel. Fans of Greene's other Philip Hall books will find this new installment to be inferior to the first in the series, Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe (Dial, 1974). The situational repetitiveness and simple text will not appeal to many teen readers, who will have a difficult time staying interested. Even readers at the younger end of the spectrum in grades six through eight might find the novel too juvenile for their tastes. Character interactions, although amusing at first, become rather annoying as the story progresses. Although this book might find its way onto summer reading lists, it probably will not find its way onto many teens' personal bookshelves. VOYA Codes 2Q 2P M (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2004, HarperCollins, 176p., and PLB Ages 11 to 14.
—Julie Watkins
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Fans of the earlier titles in the series will enjoy this lighthearted look at Beth Lambert's further trials and tribulations in small-town Arkansas. She must smooth things out when she and her friend Philip Hall have a falling out and deal with the Pretty Penny club members, who are angry at their new president and want her back as their leader. Diplomatic Beth, somewhat tempered by experience, encourages them to work things out. She has more important fish to fry, like solving the mystery of who stole poor Baby Beth, her brother Luther's prize-winning singing pig. While "every able-bodied man in Pocahontas" is searching for Gorilla Man, the monster of the mountain, the savvy sleuth teams up with Philip Hall for some fancy detective work. These ludicrous dramas culminate in a misguided arm-wrestling contest between Walnut Ridge and Pocahontas, in which poor Philip must wrestle Beth's grandmother for the grand prize, and the old lady surprises everyone with her unmatched strength. Readers new to the series may find references to past adventures confusing or off-putting, but those familiar with the characters may enjoy Beth's latest escapades.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Pre-teenagers Beth Lambert and Philip Hall were first introduced to readers in the 1970s. Now there is a nostalgic small-town feel as the two deal with the ins and outs of their friendship. Beth's friends in the Walnut Ridge Irritated Oysters club reluctantly bid her goodbye as she returns from her grandparents' home to her good ole hometown of Pocahontas, Arkansas. A little jealousy and curiosity come between the two and before Beth knows it, Philip is preparing to arm-wrestle a non-existent foe from Walnut Ridge. When the town's mayor issues a challenge to the mayor of Walnut Ridge to send the foe or any arm-wrestler who is better, Mama Regina (Beth's grandmother) arrives in town, and after much drama, the townspeople reluctantly match her up with the town's champion: Philip Hall. The climax is predictable and the drama contrived. Only a few readers will find the setting or events credible-even if viewed in a historical context. (Fiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060518356
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/23/2003
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 10 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.48 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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