cover image Double Dog Dare

Double Dog Dare

Jamie Gilson. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $16 (126pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07969-7

Hobie Hanson, first seen in the popular Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub , and the hero of two subsequent novelsis back, having lost none of his high spirits. In fifth grade, a new program for talented and gifted childrenTAGcreates tension among classmates. Molly, one TAG participant, is insufferable in her superiority; Hobie's best friend, Nick, has also been selected for the program, which causes a rift between the two boys. In the end, it is a clever trick Hobie plays on Nick and Molly that defuses the issue of what it means to be ``gifted,'' and helps them all to see that there are many ways in which individuals are special. A worthy lesson, delivered through sparkling dialogue and humorous hijinks; readers will be both enlightened and entertained. Ages 8-11. (August)