One of the inaugural titles in the Hopscotch Hill School series—each of which focuses on a student of the week with a particular issue to overcome in Miss Sparks's class—Tripp's (Meet
) rather simplistic story centers on Skylar, an energetic and impulsive girl who constantly interrupts her teacher, bosses her classmates and has trouble staying in her seat and following directions. The book follows a beginning reader format, but the sometimes dense text and advanced concepts and language require a more experienced reader. At one point, after spilling paint all over a class mural of the sky, the girl suddenly has "a bright, shiny idea" and suggests that they change the mural into a night sky. Unconvincingly, Skylar makes an abrupt transformation, successfully concentrating on redoing the mural and not interfering with her peers' work, earning praise from her teacher. An endnote addresses parents of children like Skylar, offering advice and exercises to encourage kids to "take charge of [their] energy," be better listeners and develop an awareness of others' feelings. Unlike the author's previous titles, this feels like a story in service of a message and may be best suited to teachers and parents looking to address specific problems. Other series titles releasing this month from the same collaborators: Hallie's Horrible Handwriting
), which advocates good penmanship; and Thank You, Logan!
), which encourages outdoor activities and guarding against germs. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)
Dolls and play sets from Pleasant Company's American Girl line correspond to each Hopscotch Hill School heroine.