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Starring Grace
     

Starring Grace

by Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch (Illustrator)
 

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School's out, and that means it's time for fun! Grace and her friends are always ready for a little adventure, and Grace's backyard is the perfect place to set up headquarters. Suddenly the lawn is transformed into the center ring of a big-top circus, then a hospital emergency room, and then a rocket launch pad. The gang's exploits, both real and imagined, provide

Overview

School's out, and that means it's time for fun! Grace and her friends are always ready for a little adventure, and Grace's backyard is the perfect place to set up headquarters. Suddenly the lawn is transformed into the center ring of a big-top circus, then a hospital emergency room, and then a rocket launch pad. The gang's exploits, both real and imagined, provide all kinds of unexpected rewards-and might even land Grace on stage in a real theater production!

"This is sure to be a hit with fans of Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace. . . . [A] fast-paced choice." (School Library Journal)

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
After the success of their two picture books Amazing Grace (1991) and Boundless Grace (1995), this author-illustrator team joins forces once again to create a beginning chapter book about Grace's experiences with her family and friends during one summer's vacation. This wonderful book introduces readers to eight exciting adventures, in which Grace--a resourceful and intelligent young girl--finds interesting ways to spend the entire summer in her hometown. While her Nana supervises from the apartment, Grace and her four friends let their imaginations soar as they turn her backyard into the center ring of a circus, a rocket launch pad and the perfect zone for a time machine. In addition to exploring her backyard, they also venture to a neighbor's house where they do a little ghost hunting, embark on a safari, dabble in gardening and eat delicious pastries. With a little ingenuity, Grace also becomes a caring healthcare provider, a clever detective and an ambitious actress in the local production of Annie. It's refreshing to have a young heroine who cherishes her family, has close relationships with friends, finds safe and fun ways to entertain herself and has a positive outlook about life. Young fans of the first two Grace books will really enjoy this new publication. It's a gem, just like Grace! 2000, Phyllis Fogelman Books/Penguin Putnam, Ages 7 to 11, $13.99. Reviewer: Debra Briatico
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-This beginning chapter book finds Grace and her friends at the start of summer vacation ready for new adventures, and that's just what they get. From circus performers to ghostbusters, from astronauts to detectives, the child and her "gang of four" always find something exciting to play. What makes this episodic tale work particularly well are the plot twists in each chapter. For instance, when the girl and her pals decide to investigate the "haunted house" in the neighborhood, they meet a timid old woman whose wartime escape from Europe years before has left her frightened of leaving her home. There are misadventures, too-as when Grace decides to spy on her mother's boyfriend and gets caught. Still, all's well that ends well, and as the summer draws to a close, Grace and company get to perform on a real stage. Hoffman's text reads easily and is filled with humor and the wide-eyed innocence of young children at play. The plot is believable, and the characters are well drawn-although Grace's grandmother and mother seem to have the patience of a whole school of saints. One full-page pencil drawing illustrates each chapter. This is sure to be a hit with fans of Amazing Grace (1991) and Boundless Grace (1995, both Dial), both picture books, and will be a fast-paced choice for reluctant readers.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of the popular picture books Amazing Grace (1991) and Boundless Grace (1995) have brought fans a beginning chapter book about Grace and her friends. It's summer, and the kids keep each other busy playing circus and jungle explorers, inventing a time machine, and trying out for the local production of Annie. Grace learns, as always, important lessons—about privacy, friendship, and family—from her Ma and Nana and neighbor Mrs. Myerson. She and her friends get along well, and always have a good idea for a new game. Curiously, they use expressions like "chatting," "odds and ends," and "squabble," making them sound British. (Hoffman lives in London, but she's set the story in the US.) Each of the eight chapters is episodic, and though they are linked to each other, there is no binding plot. Hoffman's narrative style is nearly identical to that in her picture books and, unfortunately, does not provide much in the way of setting. In the picture books, this was compensated for by the illustrations; here, Binch's black-and-white art (not seen) is only occasional, and Hoffman hasn't made the leap to a style that will engage readers in a chapter-book format. Nor does she introduce the characters, who are difficult to get to know until well into the story, to readers new to the books. However, readers already familiar with these characters may enjoy learning about their new adventures. (Fiction. 5-9)

From the Publisher
"Hoffman's text reads easily and is filled with humor and the wide-eyed innocence of young children at play. . . This is sure to be a hit with fans of Amazing Grace and Boundless Grace, both picture books, and will be a fast-paced choice for reluctant readers."—School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803725591
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Series:
Phyllis Fogelman Bks.
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.67(d)
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Hoffman has written more than 70 books for children, and her powers of observation bring vitality and humour to all her stories and retellings.

Her previous titles for Dorling Kindersley include Henry's Baby and A First Bible Story Book. Her best-known picture books are Amazing Grace, Three Wise Women, and An Angel Just Like Me. Mary lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and they have three daughters. The girls were brought up on myths and legends, of which Mary and her husband have an extensive collection.
Caroline Binch lives in Cornwall, England.

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