cover image Muggie Maggie

Muggie Maggie

Beverly Cleary. HarperCollins, $16.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08553-7

New heroine Maggie Schultz emerges as a colorful addition to Cleary's ( Ramona Forever ; Dear Mr. Henshaw ) troupe of memorable characters. As spunky and stubborn as Ramona Quimby but possessing her own unique flair, Maggie is less than eager to meet the challenge of third grade, especially when it comes to learning cursive writing. Her refusal to practice her loops and connect her letters causes quite a stir at school. Some believe Maggie is brave to rebel; others think she is just acting stupid. And, although Maggie has her own reasons for wanting to print, she would like to be able to understand the cursive messages on the blackboard and wishes she could decipher the cryptic notes that she delivers for her teacher. As always, Cleary's skills turn ordinary events into fresh and remarkable occurrences. As vividly depicted as Maggie are her chief tormenter, classmate Kirby, and Mrs. Leeper, the ingenious teacher who finally motivates Maggie to write. Fans who have eagerly awaited a new Cleary novel will find this story wrought with the same understanding and sympathetic humor that have warmed the hearts of two generations of readers. Ages 7 - up. (May)