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Marcia Thornton Jones, , illus. by C.B. Decker. . Dutton, $16.99 (216pp) ISBN 978-0-525-42066-8

Jones (the Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series) introduces 10-year-old Logan, a fifth grader with a penchant for storytelling and a knack for finding trouble. Logan has the best intentions for his last year of elementary school, but the temptation to stretch the truth proves too great (“The words rose up inside me like a burp after chugging soda pop”), leading to misunderstandings with his best friend, Malik, and conflicts with new student Emily, who seems determined to make Logan's life miserable. Besides contending with mishaps at school, Logan has pressures at home. His grandfather, who has recently moved in, is growing increasingly forgetful, and his unconventional actions, like picking the neighbor's petunias while wearing nothing but a towel, prove embarrassing. Young readers will relate to Logan's frustrations with his family and peers, his desire to keep humiliating truths a secret, and his underlying love for his aging grandfather, who relies on Logan for help remembering. Although Logan's mishaps are often predictable, Jones's amusing and sympathetic descriptions, brought to life through Decker's pencil sketches, will keep her readers engaged. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)