|Look out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts|
Author: Spalding, Esta
The Fitzgerald-Trouts are four barely related siblings living together in a small car on a lush tropical island, but when they begin to outgrow their small vehicle, they must band together to find a new home.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 181892
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 68703
Kirkus Reviews (-) (04/15/16)
School Library Journal (05/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/16)
The Hornbook (00/07/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2016 Move over, Boxcar Children—the Fitzgerald-Trouts are here. Kim, Kimo, Pippa, and Toby are a cobbled-together family of four kids with a mishmash of four terrible parents who, for better or worse, only show up to drop off money. The rest of the time, the kids live in a little green car, roam around their tropical island home, and try to find a house. Kim, the eldest, feels it’s her responsibility to take care of the rest of her siblings, and she tackles the challenge daringly. One gambit involves hiding in an IKEA-like store, and another—the most audacious—means driving through a treacherous forest populated by blood-sucking iguanas. Spalding’s playful tone takes the edge off the neglectful parents and dire circumstances, largely thanks to the plucky, self-reliant kids who know (rightly) they are better off on their own. While a late-breaking reveal ushers in a bit of an abrupt change in tone, the episodic storytelling and intrepid, clever children nevertheless easily carry the plot, and a hint of further adventures happily signals a sequel. Illustrations not seen. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2016 Gr 4–6—Author and screenwriter Spalding ventures for the first time into middle grade literature with this tale of a hodgepodge family of kids (think the Boxcar Children) thrown together by a mix of DNA, circumstance, and absentee parents. The Fitzgerald-Trouts, led by oldest sibling Kim, start life with daily lists—at the top, finding a house. The siblings live in a car and occasionally get grocery and gas money from an assorted set of oddball parents (none of whom want to actually care for the kids full-time). Despite the sad circumstances, the kids are cheerful and the novel is amusing. Kim is warmhearted and motivated, and readers will root for the spunky youngsters. Upper-elementary and lower-middle school readers will relate to the kids' simple desires for a normal life, complete with goldfish in bowls and room to sleep. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.