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|Lowji discovers America|
Author: Fleming, Candace
A nine-year-old East Indian boy tries to adjust to his new life in suburban America.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.10
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 85476
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.70
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 36218
|Reading Counts Disk:|
Multicultural Collection 3-5, Disk: I-047-BJ
School Library Journal - 04/01/2005 Gr 3-5-The versatile Fleming has written a refreshingly light novel about a boy from Bombay who moves to a small town in Illinois at the beginning of summer vacation, so he's faced with no friends and nothing to do. Before long, though, he persuades his grouchy landlady to adopt a succession of animals (first a cat, then a dog, and finally a goat), rescues a pet pig that belongs to a very sweet tough guy, and wistfully watches a mysterious girl on a blue bicycle pass by his apartment. Told in first person in Lowji's slightly formal yet engaging voice, the story has a simple charm that glides over some well-worn comic territory (how often has a goat munched on a ruffled shirt stolen from a clothes line?). Interspersed throughout are letters to the boy's best friend in India, which show his gradual transition into his new world. Similar in tone to a classic like Henry Huggins, this book is nevertheless firmly set in the 21st century and opens a window to what may be an unfamiliar culture to many readers. The episodic structure lends itself to classroom or family read-alouds.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2005 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2005 Nine-year-old Lowji isn't too excited about his family's move from Bombay, India, to suburban Illinois, but he's doing his best to look for the silver lining. At the forefront of Lowji's hopes is the possibility of having pets in his new apartment, a privilege that had been denied him in his urban high-rise. Unfortunately for Lowji, the new landlady, Ada Crisp, similarly refuses animals in her three-flat building. Over the course of this short novel, Lowji convinces "Landlady Crisp" that pets can help her solve all her problems: a cat can stop the mice problem, a dog can protect the home from the recent influx of robberies, and goats work well in place of the broken lawnmower. Predictable chaos ensues as the landlady agrees to Lowji's menagerie. The first-person narration keeps the youthful perspective firmly in the forefront, and Lowji's observations on Hamlet, Illinois, are consistent with a kid point of view. A few eccentric side characters (the bulging man in the Ironman t-shirt who works at the bowling alley and keeps a pet pig, for one) add color to the tale; unfortunately, the oversimplified language is choppy at best, and the narrative flow tends to falter. Events are hinted at in early chapters then abandoned until much later, a technique that, rather than building intrigue, creates disjunction in the story. Lowji is, however, an extremely well-meaning and likable kid, and the upper elementary set willing to forgive the uninspiring storytelling will find friendly literary company here. - Copyright 2005 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 03/15/2005 To be honest, I am more than a little sad, says nine-year-old Lowji after he moves with his parents from Bombay to an apartment in tiny Hamlet, Illinois. It's summer, the local kids are hard to meet, and Lowji longs for a pet to keep him company. Then he cleverly persuades crotchety, overworked landlady Crisp that animals could help with the chores. Soon the building is home to a cat that keeps mice under control, a dog that substitutes for a burglar alarm, and goats that keep the grass short. Delighted, Lowji helps care for the menagerie of pets and, in the process, begins to form new neighborhood friendships. Details about Indian culture (an appended glossary defines terms) and Lowji's Zoroastrian religion are purposefully inserted, as are a few moments when Lowji finds common ground with his new neighbors. But, through Lowji's mostly age-appropriate voice, Fleming tells a gentle, effective story about the loneliness and bewilderment that come with moving, and her brisk, lively sentences make this a good choice for readers gaining confidence with chapter books. - Copyright 2005 Booklist.