Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tuna Fish Cupcakes? Just Grace and the Snack Attack by Charise Mericle Harper


1) Thank you, Mimi, for being the best friend in the whole world that a person could have.

2) Thank you, Miss Lois, for trying to be a more fun teacher like Mr. Frank and not so bossy and not smiling like you used to be.

3) Merci (which is French for "thank you"),
Augustine Dupre, for having great ideas all the time and living in the nice apartment in my basement.

4) And finally, thank you, Owen 1, for picking on Sunni and saying that her lunch was disgusting and looked like worms.

Why am I thanking Owen 1?

Why? Well, Owen 1 (one of three Owens in Just Grace's class) has a bad case of logorrhea: words better left unspoken seem to proceed out of his mouth without passing through his brain. But this time, Owen's faux pas delights Grace and some squeamish members of the class. Principal Harris, who overhears the unfortunate remark, and Miss Lois decide that the class could do with a bit of gustatory sensitivity training, and Miss Lois announces, to the secret glee of some kids in the class, that their unit of frog physiology will be postponed indefinitely while the class undertakes projects on "unique snacks around the world."

Momentarily, Just Grace is elated to be spared the sight of frog guts during science class, but her concern soon turns to choosing her own snack project. Her best friend Mimi decides on "Hot Dogs Around the World" and Grace's dad, a major Chicago-style hot dog fan, volunteers to help Mimi out. Grace is jealous of her dad's enthusiasm for her friend's idea, and slips away to visit her spiffy downstairs neighbor, the glamorous Frenchwoman and flight attendant Augustine Dupre. Luckily for Grace, Augustine serendipitously has a little present for her from her latest trans-Atlantic flight, roasted-chicken-flavored potato chips from La Belle France, and, voila', Grace has the subject for her project!

Owen 1, meanwhile, is not faring so well with the boy population of the class, most of whom had been looking forward to grossing out the girls with their frog dissections, and, more nervous than ever, Owen 1 responds by being even more of an annoyance than ever. Finally Just Grace has had it with his off-the-wall remarks and without thinking, throws her pencil at him. Surprisingly, Owen 1 covers for her with Miss Lois, and Just Grace is just amazed that Owen turns out to a better friend to her than she has been to him.

Little life lessons and funny escapades mark this latest in Charise Mericle Harper's Just Grace and the Snack Attack (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) in her delightful beginning chapter series Just Grace. Fans of such fabulously funny third-grade heroines as Paula Danziger's Amber Brown will take to this series, like Just Grace's weiner-worshipping dad, with relish!

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  • My daughter is reading over my shoulder and said, "Yeah, a new Just Grace!" Sounds like another fun one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:29 PM  

  • You should take care Mimi, because now she is you best friend, for being the best friend you never get quarrel with each other.
    It is nice that you Thanks, to Miss Lois, for trying to be a more fun teacher.
    It was a nice to read this, and also got a lesson.

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    By Blogger Term Papers, at 12:48 AM  

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