cover image Shirley


Ann Matthews Martin. Holiday House, $14.95 (133pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0719-4

Shirley Basini is dreading fourth gradeshe is dyslexic and if she doesn't do well this year, she will have to stay back. Worse yet, her new teacher is strict and doesn't let her horse around. When Shirley's adopted sister Jacki arrives from Vietnam, Shirley is thrilled to help her learn English and teach her about America. But when Jacki is suddenly put in the advanced third grade class, Shirley feels jealous and threatened; she stops making an effort at school. An unexpected challenge to Jacki and Shirley's friendship, along with extra help from the school resource room, propel Shirley further ahead in her schoolwork than either she or her parents expected. Martin, the author of the recent Ten Kids, No Pets as well as Bummer Summer and other titles , tells Shirley's story in a straightforward, believable manner and creates an independent heroine who triumphs over her disability. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)