Rhoda, Straight and True

Rhoda, Straight and True

by Roni Schotter

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this tale, a young girl discovers that different is not necessarily bad. Set in Brooklyn in 1953, this story chronicles 12-year-old Rhoda's summer, which begins with the Royal Wedding of Princess Elizabeth and ends with the truce in Korea. Rhoda and her friends Hattie and Mary Jane start the summer by trying to find out if Mr. and Mrs. Rose are really Russian spies, as everyone says. Certainly the Roses don't act like anyone they've ever metMr. Rose doesn't even have a regular job. Then there are the terrible Mancys, all 13 of them, from strange Fig, who's in Rhoda's class, to vicious Baby Nicotine. But as the summer progresses Rhoda finds herself drawn to the mysterious Fig, leaving her at odds with her old friends. Fig is not Rhoda's only surprise, as she discovers not only the truth about the Roses but about others as well. The moral is a little obvious and heavyhanded, but the sense of locale is nicely-drawn, with original characters and humor rounding out a pleasant story. (9-12)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 It's June, 1953, and Princess Elizabeth is about to be crowned Queen. The Cold War is in full bloom, replete with school air raid drills and suspected spies. Rhoda's sixth-grade year is drawing to a close, and she and her neighborhood gang are eager for the long, lazy summer vacation spent on their Brooklyn blocks. There's so much to dothere are ramshackle buildings to explore, and there's always a poor, undesirable Mancy kid (there are 13 of them!) to fight with or laugh at. Rhoda's natural inclination to let her gang do her thinking for her is put to the test one day when, playing at a forbidden site, she has an accident. When her friends run off and leave her, it's classmate Fig Mansy who rescues her. Drawn to the warmth, remarkable resilience, and resourcefulness of Fig's large, poor family, Rhoda begins to think things out for herself. In an upbeat ending, she figures a way to show her gang how special the Mansys really are and, incidentally, to clear the names of suspected neighborhood spies. This is a nicely satisfying, old-fashioned novel with an appropriately simple resolution, peopled with interesting characters, that teaches rather than preaches a lesson about thinking for oneself. Marjorie Lewis, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
11 Years

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