cover image Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green

Last-But-Not-Least Lola Going Green

Christine Pakkala, illus. by Paul Hoppe. Boyds Mills, $15.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59078-935-3

Outspoken second grader Lola Zuckerman is tired of being last in her classroom, where alphabetical order rules the day. She's also tired of former best friend Amanda, who used to live next door but has upgraded homes and friends. School isn't all bad, though: there is the environmentally focused "Going Green" contest that Lola is eager to win. Of course, the students' ideas are shared in alphabetical order, but Lola manages to come out on top. Winning doesn't bring Lola the glory she'd hoped for, however, since her brother outshines her by getting an award on the same day. Along the way, Lola comes to recognize her own role in her falling-out with Amanda, navigates family problems, and learns to control some of her more impulsive tendencies. Debut author Pakkala handles sibling rivalry and the pain of losing a friendship with intuition and a light touch, while Hoppe's feisty b&w spot illustrations subtly enhance Lola's overall enthusiasm. Deadpan humor and a charming heroine carry this breezy read, first in a planned series. Ages 7–10. Author's agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)