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Children's LiteratureThe much published and honored Joan Lowery Nixon had one more story up her sleeve before she died in 2003. Placed in her own hometown of Houston, Texas, it is about the settling-into-new-terrain troubles of thirteen-year-old Cody Carter. Relocated from California with his mom to care for his ailing grandmother, Cody arrives with a sense of humor and the goal of becoming a trial lawyer like his dead father—if he doesn't go for stand-up comic first. Unfortunately, no one in Houston appreciates his sense of humor but his new cop friend, Jake. Up against his tough cousin Hayden and nasty accusations at school—not to mention Hamlet—Cody must use all his ingenuity to soldier through. There's a touch of Nixon's trademark mysteries in her last book, as well as the fatherless theme—which often makes Cody seem much younger than his age. It is still her usual fast read. 2004, Delacorte Press, Ages 8 to 12.