No one will want to miss the hilarious pictures and wild events in Greenwald's new epic about the unsinkable heroine of Give Us a Great Big Smile, Rosy Cole and Valentine Rosy. Rosy confesses the consequences of her Big Lie, telling her schoolmates in Manhattan that her family owns a country house for skiing. The boast fools Rosy's rich classmate, Natalie Pringle, who invites her to her real country house where the truth comes out. Rosy is a washout on the slopes and tearfully admits she has yearned for a taste of posh living, because her family has ``nothing.'' The Coles are aghast when the Pringles bring loads of clothes, food, etc., to the apartment, but the largesse inspires Rosy to establish the Great American Guilt Club. Members who have too much are supposed to give to Rosy and other ``poor'' girls, but the result is unexpected, and sheer delight for readers. (812)
Gr 3 - 6 Rosy falls victim to the notion that she is child of poverty, whereas she is poor only in comparison to a couple of ultra - rich private school classmates. She discovers that her friends don't value their material blessings as highly as she does, so she develops a scheme that plays upon the fleeting twinges of guilt they may feel about conspicuous consumption. She persuades them that they ought to unload their ``guilt'' by unloading their oversupplies of designer jeans, shirts and shoes on her willing shoulders. When her parents find out what she is up to, they are appalled. Rosy wakes up only when she realizes that her rich friends like her funky clothes better than their own trendy ones. This solution seems to beg the question a bit, but the subjects of greedy materialism and peer pressure are well handled. A light-handed treatment of a heavy subject that makes its point while also being funny. Greenwald's drawings are priceless in their economy of line and in their expression of Rosy's feelings. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School Library, McKinney, Tex.