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CriticasGr 4-7-An exciting and impetuous boy, Jamie is frequently involved in scrapes with the unnamed narrator, who describes his friend's active imagination and larger-than-life personality. Sometimes, though, Jamie can get a little tiring with his constant testing of limits and need for attention. When he is stung by a bee and begins to overreact in his usual way, his friend has had it and goes home. What becomes tragically apparent is that this time Jamie is not acting: He is allergic to bees and dies. At first confused, certain that if he doesn't admit that Jamie is dead he will come back, the young protagonist finally confronts the fact that Jamie is indeed gone but that his vibrant spirit will live on in all who knew him. Rightfully viewed, along with Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia (Un Puente hasta Terabithia, Alfaguara, 1995), as one of the seminal children's books on the subject of death, Rioja's clear translation retains the understatement, emotion, and punch of the English original. This is a must purchase for public and school libraries serving Spanish speakers, and a sound choice for at-home reading as well.
—Ann Welton, Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.