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Abigail Iris: The One and Only


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About the Author

Lisa Glatt is the author of the Abigail Iris series, as well as the short story collection The Apple's Bruise and the novel A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That. She teaches at California State University, and lives in California, with her husband and their two cats. Suzanne Greenberg is the author of the Abigail Iris series, as well as Speed-Walk and Other Stories, winner of the Drue Heinz Prize for Literature, 2003. She currently teaches creative writing at California State University. She lives in California, with her husband and their three children. Joy Allen has illustrated more than thirty books, including the Abigail Iris series for Walker, as well as Princess Party and the popular American Girl: Hopscotch Hill School series. She lives in California.


Gr 2-4-Eight-year-old Abigail Iris, who has one sister and two stepbrothers, is jealous of her best friends who are only children. The "Onlys" seem to have everything that Abigail Iris wants, including heely shoes. That coveted fashion item is mentioned several times and may date the story in coming years. When Abigail Iris is invited to accompany her friend Genevieve on vacation, she gets a chance to experience "only" life up close. Her delight in staying in a hotel brings to mind Kay Thompson's Eloise. She and Genevieve play on the elevators and order room service. Despite the humorous situations, the gaiety is somewhat forced, and the life lessons are rather obvious. Of course Abigail Iris will miss her family, and of course Genevieve's mother will be irritated at her husband's inability to leave work behind, etc. Allen's occasional black-and-white drawings make the story more accessible for reluctant readers and help convey the protagonist's charm. The authors are aiming for the Judy Moody/Clementine audience, but Abigail Iris does not have their same spark. Still, the novel's light, breezy tone will attract girls looking for entertainment in an easy chapter-book format.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Third grader Abigail Iris is a happy-go-lucky girl. She has a nearly giddy relationship with her loving parents and an almost perfect one with her three siblings, two of whom are half brothers. She feels the pinch, however, of a budgeted household and the inconvenience of sharing her bedroom. She is ecstatic when she can go on vacation with her friend Genevieve, an only child. Instead of camping, they stay in a fancy hotel in San Francisco. Though the perks are great--room service!--Genevieve's dad is always on his cell phone, her mom verges on cranky and Genevieve starts to appear a bit spoiled. Gaining a new perspective, Abigail begins to miss her family. When the vacation is called to an abrupt halt Abigail is happy enough to adopt the authors' message: Being one of many is just fine, and more wealth is sometimes worse than less. With Allen's periodic homespun sketches and a breezy first-person text, this sweet slip of a story is recommended for those girls feeling the squeeze of a crowded and blended family." --"Kirkus Reviews"

"[A] spirited narration . . . Glatt and Greenberg are spot-on in their observations." --"Publishers Weekly""Chapter-book readers who have recently outgrown the Junie B. Jones series will find this an engaging choice." --"Booklist""Her delight in staying in a hotel brings to mind Kay Thompson's Eloise . . . the novel's light, breezy tone will attract girls looking for entertainment in an easy chapter-book format." --"School Library Journal"

Third-grader Abigail Iris describes herself as "a person who believes every second of the story counts"; this is good news for readers, who will enjoy her spirited narration. Part of an affectionate blended family beset by budget constraints, Abigail Iris envies the privileges enjoyed by her three best friends, none of whom have siblings. When Abigail Iris accompanies Genevieve on a trip to San Francisco, however, she gets a coveted taste of life on the other side. Glatt and Greenberg are spot-on in their observations, and although the story ends predictably, with Abigail Iris gaining a more balanced view of her situation, the message is softly delivered. B&w illus. Ages 7-10. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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