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Just Grace (Just Grace


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About the Author

Charise Mericle Harper is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Just Grace series and the Next Best Junior Chef series. Charise lives in Oregon. Visit Charise at and on Twitter at @ChariseHarper.


Gr 2-4-Just Grace starts with a list of missed opportunities and finishes with the rich possibility of a new friend. In between, third-grader Grace Stewart sends postcards to her next-door neighbor (purporting to be from Crinkles, the neighbor's own cat), draws comics of Not-So-Super ("but still good") superheroes, plays detective with her best friend when Crinkles goes missing, tries to avoid the odious Sammy Stringer, and establishes herself as a true original in a class with not one, but four, Graces. The narrative voice is strong throughout and the story reads like one-part diary, one-part testimonial. The text is interspersed with the child's illustrations and postcards, which nicely divide the story into episodes, as opposed to chapters. A strong cast of supporting characters shares her world. Since Grace claims to have a teeny-tiny superpower ("I can always tell when someone is unhappy, even if that person is pretending to be happy and is a really good actor"), her relationships with these people, and her ability to read them correctly, take on greater significance as the story advances. Grace is a funny, mischievous protagonist who should easily find a place in the pantheon of precocious third graders. Fans of Amber Brown, Clementine, and Judy Moody will love her.-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The kids come alive in the story, and Harper enhances the comical goings-on with sparkling cartoon sketches. Give this to...anyone looking for a funny book.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

Just Grace--so named because she is the fourth Grace in her classroom--is an engaging and empathetic little girl who enjoys drawing, helping others and making lists. . . . An appealing chapter book with just a hint of mystery for middle-grade girls.
Kirkus Reviews Grace's spirited annotated drawings and her inimitable narrative's arrangement into brief vignettes makes this a good choice for kids just beginning to tackle chapter books.
Publishers Weekly This charming book [is] written in an authentic young voice...just delightful fun...very appealing chick lit lite... - Vicki's Bookshelf Midwest Book Review

The energetic eight-year-old narrator of Harper's (The Invisible Mistakecase) sprightly story is eager to share the injustices of her life. She did not get to be the magician's helper at her very own birthday party and she had to play a stationary tree rather than a dancing corncob in the Thanksgiving play. Worst of all, since there are three other girls named Grace in her class, her teacher has dubbed her Just Grace when she really just wants to be called Grace. When she vents her name dilemma to the sympathetic French flight attendant who rents the basement apartment in Grace's house, the woman counters with another tale of woe. She tells Grace that their next-door neighbor broke her leg when she fell off a ladder, almost squashing her beloved cat, Crinkles, who is now terrified of her owner and her orange cast. Grace springs into action with a plan meant to cheer up the despondent neighbor: she will send her postcards featuring photos of Crinkles and messages written in the feline's voice. Yet when the postcards arrive at the same time the cat goes missing, they are mistaken for ransom notes and the classmate Grace least likes is accused of catnapping Crinkles. In a predictable but satisfying denouement, the two resourceful youngsters bury their differences, sort out the misunderstanding and manage to find the missing pet. Grace's spirited annotated drawings and her inimitable narrative's arrangement into brief vignettes makes this a good choice for kids just beginning to tackle chapter books. Ages 6-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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