cover image Ladies and Jellybeans

Ladies and Jellybeans

Candice F. Ransom. Bradbury Press, $13.95 (136pp) ISBN 978-0-02-775665-4

In September of 1959 Wendy starts third grade, which brings some disconcerting changes. Unlike last year, she won't have a teacher who smells like baby powder, and she won't be given chocolate milk each morning. Her best friend has moved away, her family is having a ``tight year'' financially and she must endure air raid drills and polio vaccinations at school. Worse yet, Wendy will have to learn cursive writing, which terrifies her. But her loving family and a trio of new friends help dissolve her fears, and she finds that third grade is not so intimidating after all. Realistically drawn characters and down-to-earth dialogue let Ransom deliver her message neatly. Though world issues may have shifted over the past few decades, the day-to-day anxieties of eight-year-olds have changed very little. Youngsters who share Wendy's timidity will be heartened as the various facets of her life fall into place--and will cheer when she finally masters cursive. Ages 7-10. (Oct.)