cover image Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses

Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses

Eileen Spinelli, Judith Stuller Hannant. Simon & Schuster, $14 (122pp) ISBN 978-0-671-74685-8

Picture book author Spinelli (Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch) enters middle-grade fiction with a rather pedestrian chronicle of an on-again, off-again friendship. Just after her family moves to a new house, eight-year-old Heather is greeted by a 10-year-old neighbor, Lizzie Logan, who has a ``sourball stare'' and dialogue to match: ``Is your name really Heather?... I hate that name.'' Shunned by the other girls on the block, Lizzie leads Heather into a series of weird escapades, from pretending to smoke cigarette butts to fishing in mud puddles. Lizzie's abrasive tongue and occasionally bad behavior set off a few silent feuds, but Heather, guided a little too overtly by her wise mother, comes to appreciate Lizzie's imagination and also finds some sympathy for Lizzie's family troubles. No surprises here, and not much subtlety, either. Ages 7-10. (June)