Olivia Kidney And The Secret Beneath The City Hardcover – Jun 26 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5–8—In Olivia Kidney's third adventure, she is reluctantly starting seventh grade at the Malcolm Flavius School for the Arts, where all the children are talented. Olivia suspects that she is not, but luckily there is plenty going on outside of school to distract her—a trip into New York City's ancient and haunted subway system; the impetuous, old Princepessa Christina Lilli, whose impending marriage to ex-cave-dweller Arthur Vondychomps is throwing everyone into turmoil; eccentric Ansel Plover, who runs the Exit Academy for newly departed souls in which Olivia and her father live; and so on. The characters are zany and over-the-top, but Olivia has enough realistic concerns—her inadequate, mostly absent mom and a confusing relationship with a boy named Ruben—to give a solid base to all the wacky events. With so much happening, there are a few loose ends and intriguing but abandoned characters, but Olivia's fans will dive right into the story and won't emerge until the last page.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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The third book in the series finds 12-year-old Olivia Kidney in several strange places. One is her new arts school. Her father has insisted she enroll, but Olivia seriously doubts her artistic talent. She and Mr. Kidney, a chef, are also still living in an Upper West Side brownstone that features a flooded first floor, suitable for boating, and doubles as an exit point for ghosts that Olivia, who straddles both worlds, can see and talk to. The ghosts include her older brother, who is delighted when their mother comes back to New York from California. Olivia, not so much. Then there's the not-so-small matter of her tiny friend, Frannie, who is willing to go to any lengths to grow. As in the previous book, this tilts from the surreal to the silly, but it's all done with panache. Fans will be pleased that there seems to be no end in sight to Olivia's bizarre adventures. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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