Tofu and T. Rex

Overview

Militant vegan Frederika Murchison-Kowalski returns to the Peshtigo School after a brief "hiatus," but she then discovers that she has to live with her grandfather, who just happens to own a butcher shop and sausage deli. Not only that, Freddie's cousin, Hans-Peter, is a diehard carnivore but needs Freddie's insider knowledge to get accepted into the Peshtigo School himself. Throw in a flaming dinosaur, a recipe for vegan kielbasa, and an accidental amputation, and this battle of generations, wills, and diets ...
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Overview

Militant vegan Frederika Murchison-Kowalski returns to the Peshtigo School after a brief "hiatus," but she then discovers that she has to live with her grandfather, who just happens to own a butcher shop and sausage deli. Not only that, Freddie's cousin, Hans-Peter, is a diehard carnivore but needs Freddie's insider knowledge to get accepted into the Peshtigo School himself. Throw in a flaming dinosaur, a recipe for vegan kielbasa, and an accidental amputation, and this battle of generations, wills, and diets will have readers laughing out loud.

Finalist, Writers League of Texas Teddy Award.
Finalist, Texas State Reading Association Golden Spur Award
Featured book, Texas Book Festival
"This book will make kids laugh out loud."
-School Library Journal

"Tofu and T. rex captures the quirky eccentricities of small private schools, especially in the way they seem to foster and nurture quirky and eccentric (and highly intelligent if quixotic) personalities. This book is a fun read and a fitting continuance of the earlier work, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo."
-Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy

"How do I possibly describe a book about private school applications, sausage making, paleontology, vegans and accidental arson? Maybe the better question is how a person writes something that combines all of these extremely varied subjects into a cohesive and fun storyline.. . .[TOFU] is a major trip into figuring out what matters and who is important and when you should make a stand. It is also, more than any book I have read in a while, about the strength a couple of teenagers find in being themselves. It's a book about authenticity and honesty and along the way it is one hilarious adventure. . . .There's a lot going on in Tofu and T.Rex that a reader will respond to with a grin, a nod or a bit of personal revelation. And there's a lot to think about after the book is finished, which may be the most surprising, and best, thing of all."
-Eclectica Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Greg Leitich Smith follows up what PW called his "sparkling debut," Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, with Tofu and T. rex, set at the same prestigious Peshtigo School in Chicago. Here, Frederika Murchison-Kowalski, a passionate vegetarian, must live with her red-meat-eating cousin, Hans-Peter, and her butcher grandfather while she attends classes. To Freddie's chagrin, Hans-Peter applies to Peshtigo (fans of the first book will be pleased to see Shohei return as his "application liaison"), and her "barn-burner" reputation has followed her from Texas. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-This book will make kids laugh out loud. Eighth-grader Frederika Murchison-Kowalski (known as Freddie, the militant vegan) is sent back to prestigious Peshtigo School in Chicago after torching her school's football field to protest the use of a live mascot, "Angus the Fighting Angus," for the pep rally. She will now live with her cousin and her grandfather, who owns a delicatessen. Hans-Peter is in the process of applying to Peshtigo School because of its great paleontology program and he needs the inside scoop, which Freddie can give him, if they can tolerate one another long enough to talk. This tale of friendship and family, told from the viewpoints of the two cousins, is well written, witty, and funny. All of the characters, including the grandfather, go through a period of development and change, allowing readers to get to know and empathize with them. The plot moves a bit slowly at some points but there is enough action to keep even reluctant readers interested.-Kristen M. Todd, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Eighth-grader Frederika Viktoria Murchison-Kowalski and her cousin Hans-Peter are not polar opposites, but they don't have much more in common than their Polish heritage. Hans-Peter works in his grandfather's deli in Chicago making sausage and slicing meat; Freddie is a militant Vegan. Hans-Peter would love to study archaeology; Freddie is dedicated to protecting the rights of our animal friends. Due to an accident that turned a protest into a bonfire, Freddie must return to Chicago from her new home in Texas and live with Hans-Peter and Opa, their grandfather. Freddie returns to wacky yet prestigious Peshtigo School, which she attended before moving-the very school to which Hans-Peter is applying. They insult each other and play pranks on each other, but ultimately help one another reach their goals. Alternating as narrators of their story, Freddie is so snarky and Hans-Peter so consciously put-upon that neither is very interesting. Both act more sixth grade than eighth. Urban students of privilege may recognize themselves; fans of the companion volume Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo might enjoy, but the few laughs won't be enough to hold the reader's attention. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316777223
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Leitich Smith grew up in Chicago and graduated from a science magnet high school. He went on to complete degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Texas at Austin, and a University of Michigan degree in law.
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