Secondhand Star

Secondhand Star

by Maryann MacDonald, Eileen Christelow
     
 

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Francie finds life in her large family difficult sometimes and getting the dreaded Sister Ursula as her second grade teacher does not help, but making a new friend and working on the class play do. See more details below

Overview

Francie finds life in her large family difficult sometimes and getting the dreaded Sister Ursula as her second grade teacher does not help, but making a new friend and working on the class play do.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Francie's second-grade year gets off to a poor start when she is given the part of Toto instead of Dorothy in the class production of The Wizard of Oz. Making life more difficult is the constant activity at her house. With two sisters, a brother, and another baby on the way, Francie does not have anyplace to be alone. She doesn't want to play a dog, doesn't want to wear hand-me-downs, and definitely doesn't want the infamous ``Sister Grizzly'' for a teacher. At the last minute, however, Francie must step into the lead role and save the play. Even Sister Ursula proves to be nicer than expected. This short, predictable beginning chapter book is rather bland. There is too much reliance on stereotypes. The class has a blond, smart ``good girl'' who the teachers love and the kids hate; Francie's friend Stella Zujak wears homemade clothes and eats ``funny things for lunch''; an African-American character, Chiffon Brown, says, ``Girl, that's last year's lunch box!'' when no one else in the book speaks in a colloquial manner. Colleen O'Shaughnessy McKenna's ``Murphy'' books (Scholastic) are also about a large, noisy family, but they are longer, intended for slightly older readers, and much more fun.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Kay Weisman
Seven-year-old Francie O'Leary finds family life difficult (she is one of four siblings, with twins on the way), and things at school (with her teacher Sister Ursula Agnes, aka Sister Grizzly) are not much better. Sister insists on calling her Frances, her lunch box turns out to be last year's model, and she ends up cast as Toto in the class play. After Francie finally resigns herself to being the best dog ever, Dorothy develops chicken pox, and Francie is asked to step in, leaving younger sister Jo Jo (who often pretends she is a dog) to assist as Toto. Macdonald has created a warm and witty family, who may irritate one another but are always there in times of need. Reminiscent of Constance McKenna's series about the Murphy family (though aimed at a younger audience), this first book in the Lots of O'Leary's series will make a solid choice for those requesting a humorous beginning chapter book.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786811687
Publisher:
Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
10/15/1997
Series:
Hyperion Chapters Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.19(h) x 0.22(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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