cover image Rosie Swanson: 4th Grade

Rosie Swanson: 4th Grade

Barbara Park. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $14 (123pp) ISBN 978-0-679-82094-9

In this sequel to Maxie, Rosie and Earl--Partners in Grime , Rosie runs for fourth-grade president in an attempt to gain more clout at school. Using Maxie's advice about choosing a platform that will distinguish her from other candidates, Rosie focuses on the abysmal cafeteria lunches. But her two popular competitors wrangle strategic information out of the easily intimidated Maxie. Seeking revenge, Rosie spreads a secret to besmirch the reputation of one of her opponents. Her plan backfires, but she learns from the experience. Park's characters are no more likable this time around: Rosie fully deserves the ``snitch'' moniker, and isn't remorseful until it is she who suffers. Further, the comedy is strained and the dialogue corny. Still, Rosie's first-person narrative offers an inside look at school elections and the ramifications of resorting to smear tactics. Ages 8-11. (Oct.)