cover image Meet the Lincoln Lions Marching Band

Meet the Lincoln Lions Marching Band

Patricia Reilly Giff. Yearling Books, $3.25 (71pp) ISBN 978-0-440-40516-0

As she did in her Kids of the Polk Street School books, Giff introduces an endearing cast of youngsters with this propitious launch of the Lincoln Lions Band series. These two tales are set during the first few months of school, as plans take shape to form a junior marching band at Lincoln School. Occupying center stage in the first novel is feisty Chrissie Tripp, whose tall tales get her in hot water with her teacher as well as with a potential best friend. In the second title, aspiring drummer Willie Roberts teams up with Chrissie to earn money for band uniforms to wear in the Thanksgiving football game. In carefully crafted subplots, Willie deals with his fear of the dark and the void left by his absent father, whose work keeps him away from home. Characteristically, Giff deftly blends such weighty concerns with the more lighthearted aspects of elementary school life. With their snappy dialogue, animated pace and large type, these are ideal early chapter books for youngsters who may be more interested in marching in a band than in reading. McCully's illustrations ably complement the action but add little spark of their own. Ages 6-9. (Oct.)