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A [2007] study of the best research on dropout prevention shows that a single event rarely causes a child to drop out ... More


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SMILES TO GO

Author: Jerry Spinelli

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009

Material: paperback

Summary: Will Tuppence (15) has every moment of his life planned. His 12 point plan is not just for 9th grade, it's for a lifetime! In his plan for the future, Will hadn't accounted for the present. His life was redefined the moment he learned that protons can die. From that moment on, Will calculates his life with a new calendar: PD1. The day he heard the proton died. Turns out, there were lots of other things he hadn't accounted for - like his best friend BT sneaking a kiss with Mi-Su, his crush; or needing romance advice from a 5-year-old; or his little sister Tabby not being quite the pest he thought she was. But what does it all mean for a well planned life? Will narrates this story of family, friendship, and the realities of life. Older audiences struggling with reading skills will find this an age-appropriate book.

Type of Reading: read aloud book, independent reading, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 11 and Up; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 10 and Up

Reading Level: 3.3

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: It is impossible not to love Will from page 1. All of the characters are vivid and well developed. Will is so realistic that I found myself wanting to walk up and smack him on the back of the head, sometimes. Although this is Will's story, other characters share the spotlight, particularly Tabby. The story itself is well paced, with moments that will have you laughing out loud in one moment and holding your breath, the next.

Pros: Every teen should spend some time with Will, BT, Mi-Su, Tabby, and Korbet. They might just find answers to some of those age-old questions about the secrets of life!

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book to read then share with others!

If You Liked This Book, Try: DODGER AND ME   HOW LAMAR'S BAD PRANK WON A BUBBA-SIZED TROPHY   SKINK NO SURRENDER

Educational Themes: Smiles to Go is an excellent choice for a teen book club. There is a lot to explore with individual characters and their relationships. It can also be a jumping off point for explaining the concept of being in the moment.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, friendship, life lessons,

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.




                 

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