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Grade 1-3-Children who are stretching their reading wings will enjoy these short chapter books. In Lucy, Bobby Quinn is a shy child who has no friends until he receives a beagle puppy for his eighth birthday. Named after a favorite baby-sitter who has moved away, Lucy becomes the child's best friend. During a long, hot summer, she helps him develop special relationships with an elderly neighbor, a talkative girl at dog obedience school, and a new boy who is also shy. Bobby's fears of new people and situations are skillfully captured, and the story is entertaining and well plotted. Bobby is an endearing character, and he and his dog are an appealing combination. Ghost Horse also deals with making friends, but with a supernatural touch. When Emily's family moves to a small town, she is unhappy about leaving her friends behind. From her new bedroom window, she spies a ghost horse and, with the help of a classmate, learns more about the fate of "Moonlight" and his owners. While many readers will identify more with the realistic portrayals in Cooper's work, Stanley's story also results in new friendships and provides readers with a bit of a mystery to solve. Welcome additions to any collection in which short chapter books are in demand.
Maura Bresnahan, Shawsheen School, Andover, MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
For over 20 years, ILENE COOPER has been writing both fiction and nonfiction books for children, including The Golden Rule, Jack: The Early Years of J.F.K., and her Stepping Stones Absolutely Lucy, Lucy on the Loose, and Look at Lucy! She is also the children's books editor at ALA Booklist magazine.