The Malloy girls and Hatfield boys are at it again! The local bank is sponsoring a competition for the school. Students who collect twenty dollars or more for the new pediatric wing of the Buckman Hospital will be able to choose between two great prizes during the town's upcoming Strawberry Festival. They can either enjoy all the strawberry treats they want, or they can have a spot in the parade. Ever since she heard about the festival, attention-loving Caroline Malloy has been trying to think of a way to get on the Strawberry Queen's float. This contest seems to be just the ticket! Sisters Beth and Eddie are also interested in being part of the parade, as are three of the four Hatfield boys. Even the youngest, Peter, wants to win the contest, although not so that he can be in the parade. Instead, Peter is looking forward to eating lots and lots of strawberry treats. Now, the competition is on! At first, it's every student for him or herself, but as time rushes on, these kids had better figure out how to work together if they're going to raise the money they need in the short time available. In this tenth addition to Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's boys-versus-girls series, the Malloys and Hatfields are also struggling with uncertainty about what summer might bring. The Malloys may or may not stay in Buckman, West Virginia; if they do stay, they may have to move from their house on Island Avenue. The Hatfields may or may not welcome the return of their friends, the Bensons; if the Bensons do return, the boys may not have time for the Malloys anymore. In spite of these sometimes serious concerns, Naylor's story is consistently light-hearted, fast-paced, and realistic. 2004, Delacorte, Ages 9 to12.
Heidi Hauser Green
Gr 3-6-In this 10th book about the Hatford boys and the Malloy girls, the children are looking forward to the annual Strawberry Festival in June. Fourth-grader Caroline decides to be nice instead of selfish so that she can be the Strawberry Queen or a helper on the float. At school the kids are told that those who can earn or collect $20 or more for the new children's wing of the community hospital will have their choice of all the strawberry treats they can eat or be in the parade. The kids begin projects on their own but learn that they can earn more money working together in a car-wash business. Bullies down the street are upset by the competition, but the dispute is resolved by a water-balloon fight and more business. Meanwhile, the girls don't know if the family will move back to Ohio or if their father will take a coaching job in Buckman. With its likable characters and descriptions of school and family life, the novel will satisfy series fans, and new readers will be able to join in on the fun.-Debbie Stewart Hoskins, Grand Rapids Public Library, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.