cover image Sticks and Stones and Skeleton Bones

Sticks and Stones and Skeleton Bones

Jamie Gilson. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10098-8

Readers who have chuckled over the antics of Hobie Hanson since his first appearance in Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub will hail his return. Here, the irrepressible Hobie is feuding with his friend, Nick, who--thanks to Hobie--has a red, swollen nose and a case of wounded pride. When Hobie's project is wrecked in art class and he takes a nasty tumble down an escalator, he believes Nick is to blame. The two decide to settle their differences at recess--but the resolution takes them both by surprise. Mort, the school's resident skeleton; the boys' feisty friend, Molly; two of their fifth-grade classmates trained in mediation; and a disillusioned Santa Claus all figure into Gilson's clever, quick-moving plot. Running gags and puns abound in the book's animated dialogue, which is very entertaining if not entirely believable. Hobie's fans won't mind; in his sixth starring vehicle, their hero is as witty and winning as ever. Ages 8-11. (Apr.)