Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman

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Overview

Owen, a second grader who is being teased for his small size, discovers that his friend Joseph is just as concerned about being overweight, and they share their fear of being humiliated by the school nurse on the annual weigh-in day.

Owen, a second grader who is being teased for his small size, discovers that his friend Joseph is just as concerned about being overweight, and they share their fear of being humiliated by the school ...

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Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman

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Overview

Owen, a second grader who is being teased for his small size, discovers that his friend Joseph is just as concerned about being overweight, and they share their fear of being humiliated by the school nurse on the annual weigh-in day.

Owen, a second grader who is being teased for his small size, discovers that his friend Joseph is just as concerned about being overweight, and they share their fear of being humiliated by the school nurse.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Greene, a Chapel Hill writer, uses humor to hook children who are ready for their first novels. Owen, the star of this book has a peculiar personality, a wise worldview, eccentric habits, and the kind of problems that plague many children his age. Owen is small for his age. Not only does that make him fair game for the class bully, but he also worries about the indiscretion of the school nurse who comments loudly on any height or weight irregularities. Owen, who wishes he'd inherited his grandfather's strength, shows by the book's end that he's got character strength in excess. The success of this book comes largely because the author understands a child's perspective. She knows how childhood fears are heightened when kids have to struggle with adults who don't seem to understand or respect them. Greene also knows how to express these large ideas the way kids really talk. "Kids don't care about when they're grown up," Owen tells his dad. "They just care about now." And Owen definitely lives for the moment.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-In the privacy of his bedroom, undersized, skinny Owen and his overweight friend, Joseph, share concerns about their bodies. Both boys hope that weightlifting and learning about Owen's grandfather, who was a professional strongman, will bring about some positive change. They dread the upcoming height-and-weight-chart day since the school nurse broadcasts each child's measurements and her opinions about them to everyone within earshot. This year, Owen is horrified to find himself standing up to her. Naturally, this results in a trip to the principal's office and reprimands from his parents, but he also has a quiet heart-to-heart talk with Mrs. Jackson that proves helpful to them both. In this delightful first novel, Greene demonstrates her understanding of second graders. Her realistic portrayal of school life is punctuated with lively, natural dialogue and conveys the humor as well as the concerns of seven-year-olds. Owen and Joseph are fully realized characters with a strong, supportive friendship. The author's light treatment of a subject of interest to children, as well as the short chapters and often comical black-and-white illustrations, make this an attractive choice for beginning chapter-book readers.-Maggie McEwen, Coffin Elementary School, Brunswick, ME
Kirkus Reviews
Owen is scrawny and small, his best friend, Joseph, is fat, and both are worried about the upcoming height-and-weight chart day at school because the elderly school nurse, Mrs. Jackson, is prone to bellowing disparaging remarks about their bodies in front of everyone. When she starts humiliating Joseph, Owen speaks up to defend him, an act that brings both trouble and admiration. In her first book, Greene imparts some important messages, although it's unfortunate that the main characters are depicted lifting weights, a dangerous and unhealthy activity for children so young. But learning to speak up for oneself, even against adults, is a lesson rarely taught well, and one that is carried off perfectly here. Owen's parents aren't supportive, but Mrs. Jackson—eventually—is; wonderfully, she not only apologizes but asks Owen's opinion because she knows she can count on his honesty. A promising debut for a neglected age group.
From the Publisher
"The full-page pencil illustrations capture the confrontations and the affection among family, friends, and classmates." Booklist, ALA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618130542
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 972,254
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.63 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Greene is the author of many books for young readers, including the popular Owen Foote books. Ms. Greene lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Her website is www.stephaniegreenebooks.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    I liked it very much. You never knew what was going to happen next. It was sad when he found out his grandfather was dead. But he has his best friend to always cheer him up. I thought it was riveting. So great you have to read it!!!!!!!!

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