|New school skirmish (Airi Sano, Prankmaster General)|
Author: Tokushige, Zoe
Meet Airi Sano. After spending her entire childhood moving from one military base to another, she's excited to be settling down for the long-term in Hawai'i. She's less excited about her new teacher, who's determined to make Airi like school. But she's got a plan: prank her teacher so hard that she gives up on even trying to get Airi to do any work--especially any reading.
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/22)
Booklist (+) (09/15/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2022 *Starred Review* “Zeroes are my heroes,” chirps army brat Airi, entering her umpteenth school resolved to convince her new teacher, as she has all the rest, that she is “unteachable,” through a relentless campaign of pranks and refusals to do any work. Skilled as she is at disruptive “Teacher Tactics,” Airi has never run into anyone like infuriatingly patient, cheery, clever Mrs. Ashton—and the war is on. Readers will soon figure out that the 11-year-old narrator’s often ingenious pranks, amusing as they may be (to read about, anyway), are really cries for attention; her tone may be buoyant, but underneath she is a simmering, sad, and angry child—afflicted not only by the repeated disruptions of her military father’s reassignments but also (as Mrs. Ashton turns out to be perceptive enough to spot) a learning disability that has turned school into a place where nothing good happens. While bringing the entertainingly back-and-forth struggle to a conclusion that believably counters that last notion, Tokushige embeds her tale and its realistically multicultural cast in a Hawaiian setting that positively bursts with vivid details of daily life, speech, and spirit. Airi chimes in with a side disquisition on “Hawaiian for Haoles,” and Naalchigar adds lots of monochrome portraits and spot art of food, shirts, and other local color to match. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.