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Working Myself to Pieces and Bits

Working Myself to Pieces and Bits

5.0 3
by Katy Kelly, Peter Ferguson (Illustrator)

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I’M LUCY ROSE and here’s the thing about friends: I am lucky in them. And here’s the thing about that: sometimes they are in need indeed, especially when one of them buys a plumbing store and needs to diva it up so it can turn into a bakery. That is one job that takes work and costs plenty, and even an army of McBees couldn’t do it


I’M LUCY ROSE and here’s the thing about friends: I am lucky in them. And here’s the thing about that: sometimes they are in need indeed, especially when one of them buys a plumbing store and needs to diva it up so it can turn into a bakery. That is one job that takes work and costs plenty, and even an army of McBees couldn’t do it alone. But I am one busy bee who loves my friends.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A good choice for readers who like stories that deal with friendship and family concerns, as well as those looking for something funny to read.”

“Kelly gives a more nuanced and realistic picture of bullies than one normally sees in fiction for this audience.”—School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This is the fourth in a series on nine-year-old Lucy Rose, a wiser than her years busy body who delights in being in the middle of everything. The main story centers on Lucy's family friends, the McBees, who have just bought an old store to renovate into a bakery. They are limited in time and money, so neighborhood friends and family have chipped in to help. Meanwhile, Lucy has drama of her own at school with typical elementary aged jealousy and one-upmanship. The story is told in diary form by Lucy and is sometimes hard to follow, as a true 9-year-old's thoughts and actions would be, but her take on life is humorous, generous, and loving as the story stresses doing the right thing, being a good friend, and the power of working together. Readers will get hooked on Lucy Rose and her wise cracking family. Occasional black and white illustrations add to the humor. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5
The fourth book in Kelly's diary-format series follows the intrepid Lucy Rose from Christmas vacation through the end of fourth grade. The child tries to figure out how to deal with a bully while also putting considerable time and thought into ways to help family friends realize their dream of opening a bakery. Readers new to the series might have trouble figuring out Lucy Rose's complicated network of extended family and friends, although the plot is strong enough to shine through a little confusion. Kelly's use of diction and phrasing usually results in a voice that sounds authentic, but sometimes she gets bogged down in unnecessary words. That said, her exploration of life in a family in which a parent manages to maintain a meaningful relationship with a daughter who lives in another state is unique, and Kelly gives a more nuanced and realistic picture of bullies than one normally sees in fiction for this audience.
—Adrienne FurnessCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The dynamic, self-assured Lucy Rose continues her fourth-grade diary entries following the Christmas break to the end of the school year. Still busy as ever, Lucy Rose spends lots of time planning and unsuccessfully executing several money-making schemes to help best friend Jonique and her parents build a new bakery from an old plumbing store in disrepair. Despite her can-do attitude, Lucy Rose is dismayed by classmate Ashley's incessant teasing, creating rumors about Lucy's romance with good friend Melonhead. Yet when Ashley's true reasons for her own unhappiness are inadvertently revealed through an outright lie, a new dilemma emerges for Lucy Rose. She would REALLY like to expose Ashley for a satisfying payback, but isn't sure she should. Kelly continues her protagonist's winning chatty journal with enough wordplay and banter to keep kids and adults sympathetically nodding their heads for this young heroine. Lucy Rose sports an attitude on life's ups and downs that is "excellent-O" with the supportive cast of friends and family that readers have come to enjoy. "D-double-D-licious"-sounding recipes for "Lucy Roses" cupcakes and "Sweet Joniques" cookies appended in the same fun-loving style for kids to follow. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Lucy Rose Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.50(d)
900L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Lucy Rose

Working Myself to Pieces and Bits
By Katy Kelly

Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2007 Katy Kelly
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385904254

Chapter One


Here is the thing about me: According to my dad, I am one smart cookie. And according to my grandfather, I have the kind of life that is called eventful, which means NOT boring. That is probably because my whole family is not boring, except for maybe my baby cousin, Georgie, but I don't think it's fair to judge if a person is boring until after they know how to talk. My grandmother is extremely not boring.

Here is the thing about my grandmother: She acts like her dog can tell time. When she is getting ready to go out she says, "Gumbo, I am going out to give a speech and I'll be back home at six-thirty." Then Gumbo, who is the biggest kind of black poodle you can get, clomps around making toenail noises on the hall floor. Then my grandmother says, "His behavior has been much better since I started telling him my schedule." I think this is wacko but it does tell you something about my grandmother. And just so you know, I mean wacko in a good way.

Another thing about her is that she has the exact same name as me: Lucy Rose. She is 58 and I am 8. We are both short for our age. Plus she is a writer and starting today, I am too. I am writing aboutmy eventful life. But I am skipping the days that are not so interesting. That way there will be no dull parts.

The reason, by the way, that my grandmother makes speeches is that she is an expert on children. She has a column in the newspaper and people write her letters and ask how they can make their kids shape up and she tells them what to do. I am not a bragger so I do not tell that my grandmother is an expert but a lot of grown-ups guess, because the name of her newspaper column is "Dear Lucy Rose" and there is a picture of her at the top plus she comes to pick me up after school when my mother is working overtime. The problem with having an expert for a grandmother is that some people, when they see me doing something that she would definitely NOT recommend, like on the second day of school when I poked Adam Melon with a stick which he deserved, they tell her and then she tells my mother and then I am in for it.

When that happens my mom and I have to have a BIG CHAT and she says, "What came over you, Lucy Rose?"

Then I make my shoulders go all shruggy.

And then she says, "Let's talk about your feelings."

Then if I am in a sassy mood I say, "I am feeling like I would like to watch a little TV."

And then she says, "This is serious, Lucy Rose."

So I say, "Seriously, I am feeling fine."

And she says, "Really, Lucy Rose, tell me your true feelings."

And that conversation can go on for quite a little while.

My mother's name is Lily Reilly and she has light brown hair that is straight as string and she is five feet and one inch tall and she weighs one hundred and ten pounds exactly. She is fond of doing yoga, which is one boring sport if you ask me. Also she is an artist who works for a TV station that mostly shows the news. So a lot of times she draws maps. She would rather be an artist who draws children's books but we have a mortgage to pay. Most kids don't know about mortgages but I do because my mother is a big one for explaining things and one thing she explained is that a mortgage is how you pay for your house. "You have to send a check for it every single month," she told me. But that is A-OK with my mother because she is wild for our house.

We moved to Washington, D.C., this summer from Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is where we used to live before my parents got separated. My true feelings about that are NOT fine. They are yuck. My mom says that is to be expected but I am telling you one thing, I didn't expect it at all.

In Ann Arbor we lived in the suburbs and our house had a big yard and a garage and a family room. My dad still lives in it. He says my room will always be my room and I am glad about that because even though it still has the circus wallpaper from when I was a little kid, and even though some of it is a little peeling where I picked at it when I was supposed to be taking a nap, I feel fond of that room.

Our Washington, D.C., house is a city house. It has a little white porch with a swing big enough for two people and a pig-shaped weather vane on the roof and no garage because when you live in the city you can walk to a lot of places and take the subway which is called the Metro. I am not one who likes waiting around for rides but I do think it's odd not having a car which we don't because my mom thinks they are expensive and not necessary. Plus, she says, if we need to drive someplace far away we can always borrow my grandparents' station wagon.

Our city backyard is puny but it has a blackberry bush and last month when it was August we got enough of those berries to make one pie big enough for two people and when it was cooked my mom and I sat on the swing and ate it all up.

At my new house I got to pick the color for my room and I picked red which my mother and my grandmother said would drive me crazy but doesn't. Plus it's original and according to my grandfather I am an original thinker.

When I talked to my dad on the phone yesterday, I told him what my grandfather said and my father told me, "It's true, Lucy Rose. You have a one-of-a-kind mind." That is a good compliment, I think.

It's because of my original thinking that I got this book that I am writing in right now. Yesterday afternoon Pop came in from a walk and gave me a little bag from the Trover Shop and inside it was this book that is red on the cover and white on the inside and on the edge is a loop that has a golden pen in it. I think most people who would get a book like this would be at least twenty years old and probably in college. Pop told me that I should write in my red book whenever I think of something that is important or funny which I do a lot of the time.

My grandparents live three blocks away from me in a three-story-tall house that my grandfather has lived in since he was born which was an extremely long time ago. It has NINE porches, some of them on the second floor that you can only get on if you climb out of the window which is something I get to do a lot because my grandmother is on a campaign against pigeons and she sends me out to stomp around and scare them away.


Excerpted from Lucy Rose by Katy Kelly Copyright © 2007 by Katy Kelly. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Katy Kelly lives with her husband and daughters in Washington, D.C. But most of the time she’s busy like you can’t believe, thinking up big adventures for Lucy Rose.

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Working Myself to Pieces and Bits 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is great
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