The Teddy Bear Habit

( 2 )

Overview

Twelve-year-old George Stable wants to be a rock star someday, but he gets horrible stage fright - unless he has his old teddy bear with him. Hiding the teddy in his guitar seems like a brilliant idea until George discovers that someone has hidden jewels in the stuffing of his beloved bear. Quirky yet believable characters and a funky setting make this one a winner all around.

Author Biography: James Lincoln Collier is the author of several ...

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Overview

Twelve-year-old George Stable wants to be a rock star someday, but he gets horrible stage fright - unless he has his old teddy bear with him. Hiding the teddy in his guitar seems like a brilliant idea until George discovers that someone has hidden jewels in the stuffing of his beloved bear. Quirky yet believable characters and a funky setting make this one a winner all around.

Author Biography: James Lincoln Collier is the author of several books for children, including Newbery Honor Book My Brother Sam is Dead.

A twelve-year-old boy, whose problems include having to take "Square" music lessons, an attachment to a childhood teddy bear, and a father who earns a living creating comic strips, gets involved with jewel thieves in an attempt to break the dull routine.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - Audio
12/01/2013
Gr 4–7—Most of us are familiar with James Lincoln Collier's signature work, the 1974 Newbery Honor book, My Brother Sam Is Dead (Scholastic), but fewer know this work (Price Stern Sloan, 1967), Collier's first foray into children's books. Inveterate worrier and self-proclaimed loser George Stable lives in 1960s Greenwich Village and suffers from such debilitating performance anxiety that he relies on the comfort of his childhood teddy bear for relief. As the story opens, listeners are plunged into the high anxiety of auditioning for a Broadway musical. "The waiting kills you," George explains, as his nerves spin out of control. It seems implausible for a 12-year-old living in Manhattan to have a teddy bear talisman. Yet, with the stuffed animal stowed in his guitar, he aces a television audition. George decides to keep this secret along with his guitar lessons from his single-parent dad. What a tangled web he weaves, indeed. Then stolen jewels turn up inside the teddy. The truly terrifying ending is worth the slog through the hyperbole and endless obsession with the bear. August Ross does a serviceable job with the dated material. He voices George with believably young inflections and makes slight changes in tone to indicate different characters. An additional purchase.—Lonna Pierce, MacArthur & Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools, Binghamton, NY
Children's Literature
Twelve-year-old George Stable is a natural born loser, or so he thinks. He desperately wants to be a rock star, but every time he gets on stage he falls apart. George discovers that his old teddy bear gives him courage so he stuffs it into his guitar for moral support. His big break comes, but he is afraid to tell his dad that he has been spending his lunch money on guitar lessons. Also, Mr. Stable hates TV, so chances are he would not let his son be on a show. Getting out of the house, however, takes parental permission and as his dad ponders his decision, "The centuries went past, the sun began to go out, and the earth began to go cold...and just as the last traces of life were dying out on the planet" Mr. Stable lets him leave. George obviously has a wild imagination, but finding valuable stolen jewels stuffed in his teddy is quite real. Soon George finds himself in a life-threatening situation. Although some vocabulary such as beatnik, hi-fi, or groovy may be dated, young readers will be able to relate to George and his quest for fame and fortune. The fast-paced ending is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Part of the "Lost Treasures" series. 2001 (orig. 1967), Volo, $4.99 and $1.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Laura Hummel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792797739
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lincoln Collier has written many books for children, including Give Dad My Best and Planet Out of the Past. Mr. Collier has also contributed more than five hundred articles to the New York Times Magazine, Reader’s Digest, and Boy’s Life.

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    Posted June 12, 2014

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    Posted June 12, 2014

    Layla

    Layla stood. "I'm gonna go die in a hole." She stepped off.

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