Friday, April 17, 2015

Return to Augie Hobble

This is the summer that changes everything for Augie Hobble!

I don't want to spoil the plot of Lane Smith's fun first novel for the tweener crowd (you can read the gist below in "From the Publisher.") Suffice it to say, I think it will strike a chord with kids of most makes and models who find that, no matter what group they may identify with, making their way through those awkward middle school years can be a treacherous journey. Augie Hobble shows them the power of resilience, even in the toughest of circumstances.

The layout of the book is awesome! It includes bits from Augie's notebook in which he keeps notes and ideas for his Creative Arts project, due at the end of the summer. This addition keeps readers turning the pages for more and makes the story from the chapters really come alive.

Lane's sense of humor, the inclusion of quirky "carnie" type characters who work at the amusement park, questions of monsters and paranormal phenomena, encounters with the class bully and his toadie, and an unexpected twist with Augie's best friend, Britt, keep readers engaged in the story, eager to find out what happens next.

Return to Augie Hobble comes out in May. Your younger readers in the 8 to 12 year old range are sure to love it! (Especially boys!)

Thanks to for the ARC in exchange for this review. This book was a fun break from my "normal" reading! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

From the Publisher . . .

Augie Hobble lives in a fairy tale-or at least Fairy Tale Place, the down-on-its-luck amusement park managed by his father. Yet his life is turning into a nightmare: he's failed creative arts and has to take summer school, the girl he has a crush on won't acknowledge him, and Hogg Wills and the school bullies won't leave him alone. Worse, a succession of mysterious, possibly paranormal, events have him convinced that he's turning into a werewolf. At least Augie has his notebook and his best friend Britt to confide in-until the unthinkable happens and Augie's life is turned upside down, and those mysterious, possibly paranormal, events take on a different meaning.

About the Author . . .

Lane Smith is the author and/or illustrator of several award-winning books for children. He is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Honor for Grandpa Green (2012) and The Stinky Cheese Man (1993). Four of his books have won the New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award and several of his books, including It's a Book, John, Paul George & Ben and Madam President have been New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Mr. Smith has illustrated works by the likes of Bob Shea, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, George Saunders, Judith Viorst, Florence Parry Heide, Jack Prelutsky and Eve Merriam. Some of his most popular books are with frequent collaborator, Jon Scieszka. Mr. Smith lives in Connecticut with his wife Molly Leach, an award-winning graphic designer.

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