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|Look both ways : a tale told in ten blocks|
Author: Reynolds, Jason
A collection of ten short stories that all take place in the same day about kids walking home from school.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 504592
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/19)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/19)
Booklist (+) (08/01/19)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 *Starred Review* How do you invest a reader in a short-story collection? Begin with the promise of “a school bus falling from the sky.” This tease kickstarts the book, exciting the imagination before embarking—like a bus—on a neighborhood tour. Ten stories are told in parallel, each following different middle-graders home from school. On Marston Street, TJ lays out his hilarious hypothesis that “we all boogers.” On Placer Street, we meet the Low Cuts, a four-kid crew that hustles for spare change to help their cancer-stricken parents. There’s Bryson, jumped on Burman Street for showing that it’s OK for boys to kiss boys. Cynthia, who learned joke telling from her grandpa on Southview Avenue before his health began to decline. Here Reynolds exhibits his mastery of character. Each protagonist is distinct—engaging, sympathetic, complex—each story uniquely memorable. The prose flows effortlessly, rhythmic and real, and by broadening the scope to 10 middle-grade stories, he captures that age. These are quite simply—and profoundly—stories about kids and the comedy and tragedy of childhood. As the chapters pass, readers will sink into the more-and-more familiar neighborhood, getting so invested in these linked human experiences that, when the bus finally falls, it’s only to remind us that we’re all connected. This is storytelling at its finest, a true masterpiece from one of kidlit’s brightest ambassadors.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Reynolds, basically kidlit royalty at this point, will summon a crowd with this short-story collection. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2019 Gr 5–8—Ten short stories paint a picture of what happens one particular afternoon after the dismissal bell at Latimer Middle School. Each tale focuses on one student or group of friends. The magic of this book is Reynolds's ability to weave the same teachers and various students in and out of the ten stories. Students after school swirl and eddy. Ms. Post the crossing guard helps everyone cross the street while her son looks on from his spot by the stop sign; Ms. Wockley, the principal, stands in the hall yelling at students; and Ms. CeeCee sells penny candy from her house. Some backstory in each piece puts the characters' actions into perspective, with each entry ending with a bit of a surprise. The very last one ends where the first one begins, with a mythical flying school bus. Poetic language is used throughout to help distinguish one character from the next. VERDICT The perfect book to hand to reluctant middle grade readers, who will relate to the hectic and uncertain lives of these characters.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.