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Children's LiteratureDive into this believable tale about Katie and her misfortunes. Right away readers discover that almost everyone except Katie is going away for Spring Break. Clever as she is, she uses the dilemma to start a pet-sitting business. However, a stumbling block presents itself when Claire, Katie's "perfect child" neighbor, has to stay at Katie's because of a family emergency. Author Anne Warren Smith successfully presents dialogue between the two in a variety of ways. Some of it is playful, some is tension-filled, and some shows that the two may have more in common than they think. Kid-type concepts are well-handled and humor figures into the plot that moves ahead at a steady pace. Two characters that greatly add to the action are Katie's little brother, Tyler, and a colorful neighbor named Rudy. Katie and Claire first clashed in Turkey Monster Thanksgiving. That was a great read and this one is even better. Underlying themes tackle the subjects of kids being raised by fathers, real-life responsibilities, and the rewards for being honest and trying hard. The themes come across in a positive fashion. Add this book to classrooms and libraries looking for excellent chapter books. 2005, Albert Whitman and Company, Ages 7 to 10.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury