Granville Jones: Commando

Natalie Honeycutt, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (112p) ISBN 978-0-374-32764-4
Bringing back some of the cast she introduced in The All-New Jonah Twist, Honeycutt places Jonah's best friend at the center of this agreeable caper. The smallest kid in third grade, Granville cultivates a tough-guy image through a wardrobe of camouflage fatigues and combat boots and through self-perpetuated rumors of his karate expertise. But drastic measures are in order when the boy finds that his new bedroom furniture includes a crib for a baby brother, of whose impending birth the eight-year-old has hitherto been entirely unaware, a plot turn that registers the novel's only unbelievable note. In an attempt to attract his folks' attention and convince them that they do not need another offspring, the boy plots to make himself glow in the dark by eating copious amounts of beans, which he's been told are a source of phosphates; in typical third-grader fashion, he and a classmate have decided that phosphates will cause phosphorescence, a term they've confused with luminescence. He shows no glow, of course, but does produce the inevitable, which Honeycutt delicately describes as ""popping sounds,"" making Granville stand out in a way he hadn't anticipated. Spontaneous-seeming dialogue keeps Honeycutt's narrative hopping. Youngsters who have reservations about a new sibling are prime candidates for this reassuring tale. Ages 7-11. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1998
Release date: 03/01/1998
Genre: Children's
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