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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 Gr 4–6—After proving herself responsible enough to get her own puppy in When Life Gives You O.J. (Knopf, 2011), Zelly is back in this fun and heartwarming tale. She has a lot to balance this time around with Ace-the-dog and Ace-the-grandpa both getting into all sorts of trouble. Having moved from Brooklyn to Vermont last year, the 11-year-old is still having trouble fitting in and desperately wants to be invited to the sleepovers the other girls are having. The only way her parents agree to let her have one of her own, though, is to reenroll Ace in obedience school and have him pass the test. Her grandpa must accompany her, which isn't always easy since he is a rambunctious, sometimes embarrassing character who, among other things, is dating three different women. Readers will laugh along with this sweet story that is chock-full of relatable characters. Zelly's story is essentially a coming-of-age tale about moving to a new place, dealing with grief, and learning what is important in life. The end of the book includes Zelly's guide on how to train a dog as well as a glossary of Yiddish vocabulary and phrases used by Grandpa Ace. This book stands on its own, although readers will certainly be interested in what happened the summer Zelly took care of an orange-juice bottle in the previous book.—Kerry Roeder, Professional Children's School, New York City - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 Following their debut in When Life Gives You O.J. (BCCB 9/11), eleven-year-old Zelly Fried and her irrepressible, Yiddish-speaking, quote-spouting, retired judge of a grandfather, Ace, are back. After working hard to get a dog, Zelly finds yet another challenge in training the boisterous new puppy, named Ace after her grandpa. She’s also still adjusting to her new home in Vermont, and her pal Allie convinces her that the best way to make more friends is to have a sleepover. Zelly’s parents refuse to allow the event, however, until Ace is properly trained, a daunting prospect. Zelly’s middle-grade friendship angst, her embarrassment at her larger-than-life grandfather, and her gentle flashes of grief for her late grandmother are deftly and believably expressed. Ace himself is a charming (if at times frustrating) scene-stealer, whose Yiddish-laced dialogue is effectively printed in all caps: “LOVE TO STAY AND CHAT,’ he said, ‘BUT MERENGUE WAITS FOR NO MAN. HASTA LA VISTA, SHALOM, AND GOOD NIGHT.’” Perl is additionally adept at naturally incorporating elements of the characters’ Jewish faith while keeping Zelly’s broader experiences firmly on the foreground. The writing is smart, funny, and perceptive, and it lends itself to reading aloud; readers who meet Zelly and the two Aces in these pages won’t soon forget them. Notes on puppy training and a Yiddish glossary are included. JH - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.