cover image Melanie Magpie

Melanie Magpie

Claudia Mills. Yearling Books, $2.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-15524-2

Third-grader Melanie's real last name is Moore, but all her friends are choosing new first or last names: Kate wants to be called ""Cupcake'', and Jenny wants to be ``Ginger Pye.'' So Melanie selects ``Magpie.'' She hates the worms that appear on the sidewalk on rainy days so much that she gets mad and flings worms at a boy who's been teasing her with the same. When she snoops in her older sister's bedroom and accidentally gets locked in, Melanie learns not only about privacy but about a father who can keep secrets. Melanie is full of spunk and enough good ideas to charm anyone who has just started reading novels. The short chapters radiate humor in a crisp writing style; Stock's line drawings have an old-fashioned warmth amidst contemporary settings. Ages 7-10. (August)