Signed by Zelda

Signed by Zelda

by Kate Feiffer

NOOK Book(eBook)

$6.99
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442433335
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date: 04/24/2012
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
File size: 8 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Kate Feiffer is a writer, a filmmaker, and a mother. She is the author of the picture books No Go Sleep!; President Pennybaker; But I Wanted a Baby Brother!; The Wild, Wild Inside; Which Puppy?; My Mom Is Trying to Ruin My Life; and Double Pink; and of the middle-grade novels Signed by Zelda and The Problem with the Puddles. She lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Visit her at KateFeiffer.com.

Read an Excerpt

THURSDAY, APRIL 1

3:30 p.m.

West 68th Street, Apartment 8G

Grandma Zelda didn’t answer her doorbell the first time Nicky rang. The second time, he pressed down on the buzzer and counted to a hundred, although he knew that if Grandma Zelda didn’t have her ears in, he could count to a million and she still wouldn’t hear him.

Her note had instructed him to sneak out. She’d be expecting him. Nicky turned the doorknob and heard a gulping sound but wasn’t sure if it came from him or the door. He pushed. The door swung open, but the doorknob remained behind, in Nicky’s hand. “Oh, no,” he whispered to himself. “I hope I don’t get in trouble for this.”

Nicky had a bad habit of getting in trouble. Lately his Time-Out Average (TOA) had spiked to .750, which meant that he did something that earned him a time-out three days out of four. Grandma Zelda was pretty much the only person left that Nicky’s dad allowed him to spend time with. “I suppose you can’t do anything that will land you in too much hot water with someone so old,” his dad had told him.

Grandma Zelda wouldn’t care anyway. She didn’t believe in time-outs. During their afternoons together she fed Nicky slices of his beyond-favorite Zeldaberry pie and helped him make plans for a sail around the world. “If you meet a pirate, ask about his grandmother,” she’d advise. Or she’d tell him a story about the time she once swam under a pirate’s ship and scraped a nugget of gold off the keel. “It’s around here somewhere, if I could only remember where I put it,” she’d say.

Grandma Zelda hadn’t left her apartment in over a year, but she used to lead a life of adventure. Nicky couldn’t picture his tiny gray-haired grandmother doing any of this, but she once rode a camel across the Sinai desert, and twice she jumped out of an airplane and parachuted into Mongolia. Grandma Zelda’s left eye liked to wink when she talked, and she spoke with a Southern drawl, which was unusual for someone who’d grown up in the North. She had so many stories to tell that Nicky figured she kept telling them even when she was alone, even when she was asleep.

Nicky clutched the doorknob and stepped inside Grandma Zelda’s apartment. Her walls were covered with photographs and paintings. She kept every picture that Nicky and his sister, Stella, made for her and hung several of them next to paintings by better-known artists. It never felt messy in her apartment but always seemed busy.

Nicky called out for her. “Grandma Zelda?”

“Grandma?” he called out again after he didn’t get a response. “Grandma. Grandma Zelda?”

He walked into the kitchen. He waved to the pigeon squatting on the windowsill. He checked for Grandma Zelda in the bedroom. He saw her viola d’amore resting on the bed, alone. Nicky looked around the sides of her bed, in case she had fallen off it. He looked under the bed, in case she’d rolled under it.

He looked for her in the bathroom, the shower, and the cabinets.

“Grandma?”

He pushed his way into her two closets, behind her housecoats and dresses.

“Grandma? Grandma Zelda?”

Back in the hallway.

“Grandma Zelda, is this an April Fools’ Day trick?”

“Grandma Zelda?” Nicky called out one final time.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

In a New York City apartment building, two lonely children, a pie-baking grandmother and a talking pigeon connect in this gratifying mystery.

Eleven-year-old Nicky has mostly stayed in his room ever since his mother moved to India two years ago, and his “Time-Out Average” has spiked to .750. One floor below, Indian-American Lucy, also 11, a budding forensic scientist and graphologist interested in the study of handwriting, has just moved to the city. Although she’s been unlucky making new friends and gathering more samples for her handwriting journal, she’s reluctant to get to know Nicky. But when the resident talking pigeon intervenes, Lucy soon finds herself putting her sleuthing skills to the test to help Nicky find his missing Grandma Zelda, who never leaves her apartment (only one floor above). Believing “you are what you write,” Lucy offers witty writing rules (e.g., “Life changes lead to letter changes”), which guide the suspense. Simulated writing samples and actual signatures of such notable individuals from history as Eleanor Roosevelt, Al Capone and, of course, John Hancock, fuel Lucy’s forensic applications. When Nicky’s father becomes a prime suspect, his grandmother’s disappearance also becomes a moral dilemma.

A quick and steady story for readers who like some substance to their mystery but are not quite ready for the complexity of Blue Balliett. (author’s note) (Mystery. 8-12) —Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2012

Set in New York City, Feiffer’s (The Problem with Puddles) fantasy-tinged mystery follows two 11-year-olds—Indian-American Lucy, a recent transplant from Savannah, Ga., who “planned on becoming the world’s leading expert on handwriting,” and Nicky, Lucy’s upstairs neighbor, a boy who has no trouble getting into trouble. Along with a talking pigeon, the pair tries to figure out what happened to Nicky’s grandmother, Zelda, who disappears on April Fool’s Day. Initially, Lucy and Nicky spar with each other, but the friendly presence of Pigeon and a cryptic note left behind by Grandma Zelda bring the children together. Handwriting samples, letters, and clues help build tension, and Lucy’s rules about handwriting and character offer humor and insight (“Confused people have confused writing”).

Publishers Weekly

Nicky’s mother has taken a permanent vacation to India and his apathetic father puts him in time-out for the slightest offenses, so he sneaks out to spend time with his beloved Grandma Zelda. When she goes missing, he enlists the help of his friend Lucy, handwriting analyst extraordinaire, and a talking pigeon, and they search the city for her. With Pigeon’s help, the children unravel the nefarious dealings of Nicky’s father and the scheme behind Zelda’s disappearance. Told as a rotating arc, this quirky mystery is interspersed with handwriting samples, notes, and Lucy’s Writing Rules #1-11, which add a fun element to the cast of eccentric characters…. readers will be drawn into the story and will enjoy the fast-paced action. Feiffer has included a signature test to help savvy readers spot forgeries and an author’s note that is almost as entertaining as the book itself.– School Library Journal

Nicky’s mother has taken a permanent vacation to India and his apathetic father puts him in time-out for the slightest offenses, so he sneaks out to spend time with his beloved Grandma Zelda. When she goes missing, he enlists the help of his friend Lucy, handwriting analyst extraordinaire, and a talking pigeon, and they search the city for her. With Pigeon’s help, the children unravel the nefarious dealings of Nicky’s father and the scheme behind Zelda’s disappearance. Told as a rotating arc, this quirky mystery is interspersed with handwriting samples, notes, and Lucy’s Writing Rules #1-11, which add a fun element to the cast of eccentric characters…. readers will be drawn into the story and will enjoy the fast-paced action. Feiffer has included a signature test to help savvy readers spot forgeries and an author’s note that is almost as entertaining as the book itself.– School Library Journal

Alan Katz

"I laughed, I gasped, I cheered, and I instantly fell in love with this wonderful story.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Signed by Zelda 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why do you hate it???????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate it