Mostly Monty

( 1 )


A shy boy with asthma starts first grade — and comes into his own — in this appealing story for early chapter book readers.

Six-year-old Monty doesn’t have a brother, a sister, or a pet. What he does have is asthma, which sometimes makes it hard to breathe and often makes him feel like he’d rather be somebody else. And now that he’s starting first grade, he’s very nervous about being with all those kids he won’t know. Luckily, he loves to read — even really hard books — and has ...

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Mostly Monty

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A shy boy with asthma starts first grade — and comes into his own — in this appealing story for early chapter book readers.

Six-year-old Monty doesn’t have a brother, a sister, or a pet. What he does have is asthma, which sometimes makes it hard to breathe and often makes him feel like he’d rather be somebody else. And now that he’s starting first grade, he’s very nervous about being with all those kids he won’t know. Luckily, he loves to read — even really hard books — and has a talent for finding things, from a cocooning caterpillar to classmates who want to be in his very own club. With familiar situations and gentle humor, Johanna Hurwitz follows an endearing character as he discovers that being himself can be pretty great after all.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
Six-year-old Monty, who suffers from asthma, cannot have a pet, isn't allowed to participate in any game that requires too much physical activity, and sometimes has to be rushed to the hospital. As he begins first grade, he is apprehensive about being away from home all day, and about making friends. He does, however, find activities that won't irritate his condition. He is an excellent reader who is interested in many different subjects. He also discovers that he is good at finding items that other kids have lost and does this with much alacrity, winning praise from the principal's secretary. At one point, he adopts a caterpillar as a temporary pet. Through his experiences, Monty learns that by sharing his enthusiasm with others and being true to himself, he is able to make several friends. The pages are peppered with illustrations depicting Monty interacting with many people. This book should be a winner with children who want to be appreciated for their own unique qualities, rather than being singled out for their handicaps, whether real or imagined.
—Donna AtmurCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Six-year-old Monty, sheltered by protective parents because of his asthma, arrives in first grade a good reader, but shy and lacking social experience. Encouraged by his teacher's compliments, he finds a way to have a pet, a stuffed animal and some new friends. This gentle chapter book will appeal particularly to students like Monty, who read some substance in their first-grade reading. When the (male) librarian warns Monty that nonfiction books will be too difficult, his teacher confirms his skill and the librarian says, "You're my kind of guy." Watercolor illustrations every few pages (not seen) support the story and show a diverse classroom population. Characters and school and neighborhood interactions ring true. The theme of Monty's growing self-confidence, evident in each episode, is made explicit at the end, appropriate for a very young reader more engaged in the words on a page than their meaning. Mostly, readers will want more about Monty. (Fiction. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763640620
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Series: Monty Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 560,387
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 680L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Johanna Hurwitz is the award-winning author of more than sixty books for young readers, including the Riverside Kids series. She lives in Great Neck, New York.

Anik Scannell McGrory has illustrated several books for children. She lives in Tarrytown, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2008

    Mostly Fun

    Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting a child, wise beyond his or her years, who captured your heart within an instant? Well, if not, you need to meet Montgomery Gerald Morris, the title character in Johanna Hurwitz¿s newest chapter book, Mostly Monty '2007'. Monty is a six year old making the transition from half day kindergarten to all day first grade. The anxiety of such a jump is difficult for many children, but it is especially difficult for Monty, an asthmatic, who has led a sheltered life. In an effort to prevent his asthma attacks, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery have not allowed Monty to run around with kids in the neighborhood or own a pet. Consequently, Monty feels like an outsider as he enters first grade. And if these differences aren¿t enough, Monty is also a precocious six year old who reads at a fourth grade level. While he loves reading, his aptitude is another trait that distinguishes him from his classmates. After a few days of being a first grader Monty is left wishing ¿he was someone else and not Monty.¿ In unexpected ironic twist, the inhaler that Monty carries in his pocket to stave off asthma attacks becomes a source of strength. In the early chapters of the book when Monty is presented with potentially problematic social situations, he reaches in his pocket to be sure his inhaler is there in case he needs it. By the last chapter, however, the inhaler is presented as less of a medicinal object and more of a talisman that gives Monty courage. As Monty anxiously approaches Joey, a neighborhood classmate, and invites him to be part of the Kangaroo Club that Monty has created, Monty ¿put[s] his hand in his pocket and [holds] his inhaler for support.¿ The object that is directly related to Monty¿s feelings of difference transforms throughout the story into a source of support and courage. Young elementary school children, their parents, and their teachers are sure to fall in love with Monty as he navigates his way through first grade with a creative mind and infectious spirit. Anik McGrory¿s simply beautiful water color illustrations keep young readers engaged with Monty and his daily adventures. There are half page illustrations every 3-4 pages and small illustrations interspersed between. These pictures guide young readers through Monty¿s progression from insecurity to confidence. My kindergartener loved listening to Monty¿s story. He felt sorry for his self consciousness, was inspired by his creativity, giggled at his silliness, and ultimately was glad for his newly found self confidence. While this book is especially suited for any young school age child who feels different as a result of a medical condition, I highly recommend Hurwtiz¿s latest book to young readers of all kinds. She has created a character that is a joy to spend time with, so much so, that readers will undoubtedly find themselves wanting to read more about Montgomery Morris.

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