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Shifty Business

Overview

Fourth grade superhero Jo Schmo doesn’t know that a crime wave is about to hit her city. She's too busy learning new superhero skills, like shape-shifting. Only it doesn’t seem to be going very well: what bad guy is scared of a superhero that looks like a frizzy-haired teacher? But Jo and her loyal doggy sidekick, Raymond, know they have to stop the villainous Numb Skull before the crime wave builds into a full-on crime tsunami. And if that means Jo has to risk shape-shifting into a freckled monster, ...

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Shifty Business

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Overview

Fourth grade superhero Jo Schmo doesn’t know that a crime wave is about to hit her city. She's too busy learning new superhero skills, like shape-shifting. Only it doesn’t seem to be going very well: what bad guy is scared of a superhero that looks like a frizzy-haired teacher? But Jo and her loyal doggy sidekick, Raymond, know they have to stop the villainous Numb Skull before the crime wave builds into a full-on crime tsunami. And if that means Jo has to risk shape-shifting into a freckled monster, then that’s just what she’ll do! Welcome to supergirl Jo Schmo's third adventure!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sarah Raymond
A crime tsunami is about to hit San Francisco and there is only one person that can save the save day. Ten-year-old super hero Jo Schmo and her trusty dog Raymond are the only two that can possibly slow the crime tsunami down and save San Francisco. Jo Schmo has seen crime waves before but never like this one. This fast paced novel has Jo Schmo fighting numerous bad guys while at the same time learning the new skill of shape shifting. At one moment she shape shifts into her fourth grade teacher and the next moment she is an anchor sitting at the bottom of the ocean. All of the shape shifting provides a good disguise but also makes crime fighting a tad bit more difficult. It also makes the novel a bit difficult to follow especially since the focus shifts from bad buy to bad guy and back to Jo Schmo. The numerous amounts of characters become confusing, but will definitely keep readers entertained. Reviewer: Sarah Raymond
Kirkus Reviews
Defending San Francisco is a busy job for fourth-grade girl superhero Jo Schmo, who faces a cunning villain in this third book in the series. Numb Skull is a retired boxer who "used to be a good guy, or at least an okay guy, but every time he was smacked in the head in the boxing ring, he lost a little of his good-guyness and his okay-guyness, until there was nothing left to do but pursue a life of crime." He schemes to blow up a cruise ship carrying gazillionaires so that when it sinks, he can, via his submarine, steal the gazillionaires' priceless jewels. In order to keep Jo Schmo from interfering, he runs her ragged by organizing a "crime tsunami," which is more crime than a crime wave, which in turn is more than a crime ripple. Jo finds more difficulties in her attempts to master a new superpower, shape-shifting, which happens uncontrollably when she sleeps or sneezes. The convoluted time structure, slipping back and forth between flashbacks and current action, occasionally confuses, which will keep the target early-elementary audience on its toes. The playful illustrations have an anything-goes feel to them that matches the text's punchy puns, wordplay and occasional fourth-wall breakage. While there's no doubt that Jo Schmo will eventually bring Numb Skull to justice, there's enough hilarity and unexpectedness in the zany, quick jokes to keep readers guessing how. (Adventure. 6-9)
From the Publisher

"The playful illustrations have an anything-goes feel to them that matches the text's punchy puns, wordplay and occasional fourth-wall breakage."
Kirkus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547807966
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Series: Adventures of Jo Schmo Series , #3
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,406,843
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 7.88 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author


Greg Trine is the author of the Adventures of Jo Schmo series and the Melvin Beederman, Superhero series. He lives with his family in Ventura, California. www.gregtrine.com.

Frank W. Dormer is the author/illustrator of Socksquatch and The Obstinate Pen, and the illustrator of the acclaimed Aggie and Ben series and the superhero series The Adventures of Jo Schmo. Frank is an elementary school art teacher lives with his family in Connecticut. Visit his website at www.frankwdormer.com

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