Scooter

Overview

Elana is thrilled to be living all the way up on the eighth floor of 514 Melon Hill Avenue, an apartment building in New York City. But with her new life come changes — and challenges. Is her shiny scooter up to the crags and potholes of city sidewlks? Will she be able to make new friends? Can she find a way to help out little Petey, who everyone says doesn't talk? And will the kids from Melon Hill win any blue ribbons at the Borough-Wide Field Day? As Elana coasts toward discoveries and surprises in her new ...

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Overview

Elana is thrilled to be living all the way up on the eighth floor of 514 Melon Hill Avenue, an apartment building in New York City. But with her new life come changes — and challenges. Is her shiny scooter up to the crags and potholes of city sidewlks? Will she be able to make new friends? Can she find a way to help out little Petey, who everyone says doesn't talk? And will the kids from Melon Hill win any blue ribbons at the Borough-Wide Field Day? As Elana coasts toward discoveries and surprises in her new home, she keeps one thing in mind: Anything can happen as long as you have a winning attitude — and a cool set of wheels!

A child's silver blue scooter helps her to adjust to her new home.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
A delightful character.
New York Times Book Review
A story, told with tremendous inventiveness, of the excitements of childhood, explained and illustrated through the remarkable eyes of a remarkable girl.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in a New York City housing project, this "series of vignettes forms a bouncy oversize novel about a girl's adjustment to her parents' divorce," wrote PW. Ages 8-12. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her latest work, Caldecott Honor artist Williams ``More, More, More,'' Said the Baby ; A Chair for My Mother strings together a series of short vignettes to form a bouncy novel about a girl's adjustment to her parents' divorce. Elana Rose Rosen and her mother relocate to an apartment in a big city housing project where ``Lanny'' spends the summer making friends and practicing her favorite scooter tricks. She meets a virtual smorgasbord of kids and kindly neighbors and forms a special attachment to a boy named Petey who doesn't speak. Elana blossoms in her new environment with only a minimum number of tantrums or sad thoughts about her now-fractured family. The end-of-summer--and end-of-novel--Borough-Wide Field Day provides occasion for all the characters to let their talents shine. Though the era in which Lanny's adventures take place is never specified, numerous details suggest a setting of a few decades ago; happily, the story's universal themes and situations never seem dated. Feisty Elana's forthright voice supercharges the first-person narrative. Inventive hand-lettered acrostics open each chapter of this oversize novel, and a smattering of recipes and black-and-white spot illustrations lend an air of childlike authenticity to the account. Williams announces her versatility with this satisfying project. Ages 8-up. Oct.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Elana Rose Rosen and her mother have just moved to an apartment in New York City. In short chapters, each one named by an illustrated acrostic (e.g., HOT, or ``How can we wait Out this night Till tomorrow?''), Elana relates her experiences while adjusting to new surroundings and making new friends. As in Beverly Cleary's ``Ramona'' books (Morrow) and Lois Lowry's ``Anastasia'' series (Houghton), it is not the plot that captures readers' attention, but rather the personalities and relationships of the characters. There is less obvious humor here than in the aforementioned books. Elana is witty, perceptive, introspective, and inventive, yet despite her sometimes precocious observations, she is never overly cute. This is a book filled with people. Williams expands the definition of family to include the whole community. Readers will sense, even from peripheral characters, that they all have full lives. The margins of the oversized pages are filled with pen-and-ink sketches that spring spontaneously from the text. The drawings, combined with decorated acrostics and type variations, give the book a lively, freewheeling appearance. Elana's absent and indifferent father and her young friend Petey's seriously ill mother are part of the background structure, while the children's focus is on the immediate joys and disappointments of everyday living.-Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Janice Del Negro
Elana Rose Rosen has just moved to an apartment in the city, and, on her scooter, she is excitedly exploring everything she can. New friends, old friends, a winning field day, and her relationship with young Petey a boy who does not speak fill her days as she fills sheet after sheet of paper with drawings, acrostics, and sayings. Illustrated with Elana's artwork and notes, this is a visually interesting book. The story is easygoing Elana's one serious temper tantrum has the ring of truth and brimming with the everyday details of urban family life--although there appears to be neither litter nor gangs on "these mean streets." The only real source of tension lies in what will happen to Petey, who has a sick mother and an ill-tempered father. Unfortunately, that's never directly addressed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688093761
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/27/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 7 years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.77 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Vera B. Williams is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including "More, More, More," Said the Baby: Three Love Stories and Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart. She lives in New York City.

Vera B. Williams es la premiada creadora de numerosos libros infantiles, entre ellos "Más Más Más" dijo el bebe. Vive en la ciudad de Nueva York.

Vera B. Williams is the award-winning creator of many books for children, including "More, More, More," Said the Baby: Three Love Stories and Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart. She lives in New York City.

Vera B. Williams es la premiada creadora de numerosos libros infantiles, entre ellos "Más Más Más" dijo el bebe. Vive en la ciudad de Nueva York.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Now I Love living here. I like the address. You take the one from the five so you get the four ... 514 Melon Hill Avenue, Apartment 8E. E is my first initial. The highest up I ever lived before was on the third floor when we stayed with my cousins.

514 Melon Hill Avenue is a great big building. And it's together with four other big buildings. They call them the Melon Hill Houses. They are at the top of Melon Hill. And they have water towers and a brick wall around the roofs that makes them look like castles.

I was a real Melon Hill House kid from day one! But my mom says not so, and that I stood at our window for days just staring out. Well, of course, I was amazed. From that window I could see buildings spread out right to the edge of the river and then bridges and more buildings across the river. When the lights went on for nighttime I couldn't believe there could be so many lights in so many houses on so many streets and us not know anyone in any of those houses. I could see the big school where I'm going to go after the summer. I didn't know a single person in that school. And all our clothes and stuff were in boxes.

My scooter was the very last thing we packed onto the trailer when we moved out from over the garage at Grandma and Grandpa's house. After we drove a thousand miles my scooter was the first thing I brought up in the elevator with my mom to our new apartment here on the eighth floor of 514 Melon Hill Avenue.

Our one-room apartment was empty. It smelled of new paint. I put my scooter right by the window. Whenever I wasn't helping get our stuff unpacked and put away I stood on my scooter and looked out thewindow.

Almost every single hour, my mom would ask me why I didn't go out and play.

My mom: "When are you going to stop moping and go out and play?"

Me:"Who am I going to play with?"My mom: "I see lots of kids down there. All colors and sizes. They look great to me."

Me: "But I don't know any of those kids. . ."

My mom:"Well, you never will if you don't go out. Kids won't come to our door just seeking out the famous and beautiful Elana Rose Rosen."

Me: "I didn't say they would."

My mom: "Elana, please! Did I say you said it? And don't start to cry! I have too much to do to get involved in scenes with you. I have to get us settled. Find a job. Get ready for my courses."

Me:"Just leave me here alone then."

My mom:"But it breaks my heart to see you standing onthat scooter, moping."

Me:"I'm not moping."

Finally my mom came right up behind me and put her hands on the handlebars and pushed me and the scooter out our front door and down the hall and into the elevator and out the elevator and through the lobby. Then she gave me a big push that sent me out the front doors where the intercom is and into the courtyard.

"There's no kids out here," I called to her.

"You've got your scooter," she answered. She was already going through the door.

"Come down in a little while," I yelled after her.

"See you at supper time," she said, waving.

Scooter. Copyright © by Vera Williams. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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First Chapter

Scooter

Chapter One

Now I Love living here. I like the address. You take the one from the five so you get the four ... 514 Melon Hill Avenue, Apartment 8E. E is my first initial. The highest up I ever lived before was on the third floor when we stayed with my cousins.

514 Melon Hill Avenue is a great big building. And it's together with four other big buildings. They call them the Melon Hill Houses. They are at the top of Melon Hill. And they have water towers and a brick wall around the roofs that makes them look like castles.

I was a real Melon Hill House kid from day one! But my mom says not so, and that I stood at our window for days just staring out. Well, of course, I was amazed. From that window I could see buildings spread out right to the edge of the river and then bridges and more buildings across the river. When the lights went on for nighttime I couldn't believe there could be so many lights in so many houses on so many streets and us not know anyone in any of those houses. I could see the big school where I'm going to go after the summer. I didn't know a single person in that school. And all our clothes and stuff were in boxes.

My scooter was the very last thing we packed onto the trailer when we moved out from over the garage at Grandma and Grandpa's house. After we drove a thousand miles my scooter was the first thing I brought up in the elevator with my mom to our new apartment here on the eighth floor of 514 Melon Hill Avenue.

Our one-room apartment was empty. It smelled of new paint. I put my scooter right by the window. Whenever I wasn't helping get our stuff unpacked and put away I stood on my scooter and looked out the window.

Almost every single hour, my mom would ask me why I didn't go out and play.

My mom: "When are you going to stop moping and go out and play?"

Me:"Who am I going to play with?"My mom: "I see lots of kids down there. All colors and sizes. They look great to me."

Me: "But I don't know any of those kids. . ."

My mom:"Well, you never will if you don't go out. Kids won't come to our door just seeking out the famous and beautiful Elana Rose Rosen."

Me: "I didn't say they would."

My mom: "Elana, please! Did I say you said it? And don't start to cry! I have too much to do to get involved in scenes with you. I have to get us settled. Find a job. Get ready for my courses."

Me:"Just leave me here alone then."

My mom:"But it breaks my heart to see you standing onthat scooter, moping."

Me:"I'm not moping."

Finally my mom came right up behind me and put her hands on the handlebars and pushed me and the scooter out our front door and down the hall and into the elevator and out the elevator and through the lobby. Then she gave me a big push that sent me out the front doors where the intercom is and into the courtyard.

"There's no kids out here," I called to her.

"You've got your scooter," she answered. She was already going through the door.

"Come down in a little while," I yelled after her.

"See you at supper time," she said, waving.

Scooter. Copyright © by Vera Williams. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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