Breaking Out

Barthe DeClements, Author
Barthe DeClements, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14 (130p) ISBN 978-0-385-30503-7
Hardcover - 978-0-385-30377-4
Paperback - 978-0-440-40802-4
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Life isn't getting any simpler for Jerry Johnson, the sympathetic character featured in DeClements's Five Finger Discount and Monkey See, Monkey Do . Caught stealing while on parole, his father is once again back in prison, and his mother has married her boss, a cold, stingy restaurant owner. But Jerry, now 12, makes the best of his less than perfect situation, and faces the social and emotional trials of seventh grade with gritty determination and good humor. Ms. Castle, Jerry's warmhearted English teacher and Grace, the girl next door, are strong allies of the plucky boy, whose experiences range from enduring an anxiety-filled visit to his father to landing a starring role in a TV commercial. As in the previous volumes in this trilogy, the author's depiction of Jerry's relationships with both adults and peers is entirely convincing. At once realistic and uplifting, this is exemplary middle grade fiction. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)
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