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Albertina the Practically Perfect Library Binding – September 17, 1998

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Library Binding: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow; 1st edition (September 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688158293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688158293
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4-Molly knew making friends in a new neighborhood wouldn't be easy. Her suspicions are confirmed when her first encounter is with Violet, the neighborhood bully. But then she meets Albertina. Together, with Grandfather's help, the two girls build a tree house. Although Molly knows Albertina and Violet are friends, she continues to rebuff the bully. However, her trust in her new friend is violated when she discovers that Albertina has told Violet about her fear of the dark. Eventually the three-way friendship has a chance when the girls learn that Violet shares the same fear and has admired Molly all along for her competence with tools and the designing and building of the wonderful tree house. Readers will appreciate this determined young girl and the matter-of-fact Albertina, who seems destined for her own story in a sequel. Several black-and-blue watercolors per chapter lighten the pages. The emotional relationships as well as the events ring true in this fine tale for newly competent chapter-book fans.
Susan Hepler, Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Gr. 2^-4. Molly worries about making new friends when she and her family move across town, especially after she encounters Violet, who introduces herself with a threatening karate kick. Then she meets Albertina, a girl who seems absolutely perfect. Soon Molly is revealing her innermost secrets, such as her fear of the dark. The two are inseparable all summer long, but when school starts, Molly feels betrayed when she overhears Albertina telling Violet about Molly's night light. Matters are soon resolved, leaving open the possibility that Violet may become a friend, too. Fowler has a good ear for dialogue and a keen sense of the insecurities surrounding new friendships. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings with halftone overlays, this easy chapter book should be popular with emerging readers. See also P. J. Petersen's My Worst Friend, reviewed below, for a very different view of friendship. Kay Weisman

More About the Author

I grew up in Juneau, Alaska. When I was young, Juneau was a small town of a few thousand people. It's grown more than five times over--it's now a "booming metropolis" of somewhere around 32,000 people--but we still have porcupines and bears wandering our downtown neighborhoods. There was a black bear right up the street when I came home from my Dad's last night. A creek with spawning salmon is just a few blocks from our home. And although our home appraisal says "no view," we are surrounded by mountains from which we watch mountain goats in the spring, herons in their nests across the street, and eagles wheeling overhead year round. Sure seems like a view to me. This is a good home place and I loved growing up here and coming back as an adult, marrying and raising two amazing daughters in the home my husband and I live in still. My two grandchildren live nearby, and in fact, there are four generations of my family within a few block radius (along with those bears and porcupines).

While my writing isn't autobiographical (with the exception of my essays for adults), there are elements of my life in all my stories. Of my now nine children's books, only the newest one, ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES: TWELVE RETOLD TALES (February 2013) and CIRCLE OF THANKS (on the Bank Street "Best of the Best" List - Outstanding Books from 1997-2008) are set in the north. But although my other books aren't necessarily Alaska stories, I feel as if Alaska, the sense of community here, the connection to the natural world, the rhythm of the seasons and the pace of life, seeps into everything I write.

When I wrote ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES: Twelve Retold Tales, I had to double check what I knew about the habitat and habits of animals that live in the Arctic. I've spent time in the Arctic, but the Alaska land and life I know best is the coastal panhandle of southeast Alaska where the environment is very different than the Arctic and even many of the animals are different. Fables are obviously not intended to be "true," but I wanted the animals I chose for my retellings to make sense. My husband Jim, a landscape painter and the illustrator of fourteen children's books, counting our new ARCTIC AESOP'S FABLES, is more of a naturalist than I and he helped me out as did current and former staff of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The wonderful WILDLIFE NOTEBOOK SERIES published by the department plus several on-line sources were helpful, too. I am grateful to them all.

I enjoy talking with kids and adults about writing and about Alaska and am available for school or library visits.

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