Tales from One Street Over

Melissa Whitcraft, Author Avon Books $3.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-77492-0
Michael's family has just moved to the suburbs. He misses his apartment and the city sounds, but the neighborhood kids befriend him and the first chapter closes as Michael muses, ``Maybe living here isn't going to be so yukky after all.'' Subsequent chapters focus on Michael's new, ethnically diverse pals. Sarah, the only child of divorced parents, loves animals more than anything else but isn't allowed to have a pet; she reunites a lost dog with its owner and is promptly invited to visit the dog often. Adam, frantically wiggling his first loose tooth, tries to get the attention of his grandfather, who is mourning the death of his wife. Jesse, meanwhile, dreams of playing major league baseball, and Alison moves away to the city. The story comes full-circle when Michael is the first to welcome a new girl who moves into Alison's house. First-novelist Whitcraft nods at serious issues, but she opts for pat plot devices and unrealistic solutions; her story feels canned. Ages 6-9. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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